Plans to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda welcomed by West Sussex MP

Government plans to send some asylum seekers to Rwanda as part of measures to overhaul a ‘broken’ system has been welcomed by a West Sussex MP.

The Home Office says the proposals aim to tackle illegal migration, control the country’s borders and crack down on the criminal gangs exploiting the crisis.

Under the terms of the migration and economic development partnership, migrants who make journeys such as by small boat or hidden in lorries would have their asylum claim processed in the African country.

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Meanwhile the military will also now take operational command of responding to small boats in the Channel, in partnership with the Border Force.

New funding would deliver new boats, aerial surveillance and expert military personnel. Border Force teams would also be bolstered.

A new nationwide dispersal system will also be introduced so asylum pressures are more equally spread across local authorities and an ‘asylum reception centre’ would open in North Yorkshire.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “This government is delivering the first comprehensive overhaul of the asylum system in decades. At the heart of this approach is fairness. Access to the UK’s asylum system must be based on need, not on the ability to pay people smugglers. The demands on the current system, the cost to the taxpayer, and the flagrant abuses are increasing. The British public have rightly had enough.

“That is why we are overhauling this broken system. Our New Plan for Immigration will improve support for those directly fleeing oppression, persecution and tyranny through safe and legal routes, deter illegal entry, and make it easier to remove those with no right to be in the UK.”

DOVER, ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks at a Coastguard drone used for surveillance and the rescue of migrants, as he meets crews and technical staff at Lydd Airport on April 14, 2022 in Dover, England. The UK government announced that they will process people seeking asylum in Britain 4,500 miles away in Rwanda in an effort to crack down on unauthorised migration. (Photo by Matt Dunham - WPA Pool/Getty Images) SUS-220414-130020001

The announcements have been welcomed by Arundel and South Downs MP Andrew Griffith.

He said: “From putting the military in charge of the English Channel, passing the Nationality and Borders Bill to sending adult male asylum seekers to Rwanda, it is essential that we control immigration which is one of the drivers of the pressures to build on the precious green spaces of West Sussex.

“Britain has a proud tradition of providing sanctuary to those in need. And this Government has done more than any other in recent history. Since 2015 we have offered a place of safety to over 185,000 in need – and that’s before our unlimited offer to Ukrainian refugees.

“But those crossing in boats are coming here illegally having passed through safe countries. They pay people smugglers to jump the queue, taking capacity from genuine women and children.”