Another group of migrants including young children arrive in UK after four boats were intercepted in Channel amid claims Rwanda plan IS working as asylum seekers ‘ask to be returned home and not to African centres’
ANOTHER group of migrants, including young children, have arrived in the UK after four boats were intercepted in the Channel – amid claims the Rwanda plan is working as asylum seekers ‘ask to be returned home and not to African centres’.
The four boats were intercepted and taken into Dover Harbour, Kent, by Border Force officers on the high speed craft BF Hurricane this morning.
One of the children was carried off the boat by a Border Force officer as the migrants were escorted into the port to be processed, while another toddler was pictured holding his mother’s hand as they walked off the boat.
It comes after babies and small children were again among a group of 20-30 migrants to arrive in the UK after crossing the Channel on Friday.
Despite the attempted crossing today, though, Channel migrants are said to be abandoning their attempts to stay in the UK because they are afraid they might be sent to Rwanda.
Up to ten migrants have already asked to be returned home rather than risk having their claims for refugee status assessed in the central African nation, The Mail on Sunday has learned.
A group of migrants trying to cross the Channel in four boats were intercepted by Border Force officers this morning
Among the group were a young child who had to be carried ashore by a Border Force officer, while a young boy was pictured holding his mother’s hand
The migrants wore face masks and life jackets after being intercepted and brought aboard the BF Hurricane
The migrants took advantage of sunny weather and still waters to make the Channel crossing on Sunday
Today’s crossings come despite the UK’s new Rwanda scheme designed to act as a deterrent
Migrants are brought ashore by Border Force officer and armed forces personnel to the port of Dover
The migrants are escorted ashore in Dover, Kent, after trying to make the Channel crossing on four boats today
Two of the migrants, wearing face masks and life jackets, are escorted ashore in Dover to be processed
A Border Force officer carries a young child ashore while a second toddler holds the hand of his mother
The young child could be seen crying as they were brought onto land following the attempted crossing today
They had begun the asylum process here but withdrew their applications after the Government announced the controversial new policy last month.
The news is a boost to Home Secretary Priti Patel as it offers the first sign that her plan – aimed at deterring migrants from making the perilous journey across the Channel – is beginning to work.
Home Office officials hope the number abandoning their claims will increase rapidly once the first flights to Rwanda begin – possibly as early as next month.
It emerged yesterday that some asylum seekers will be put up at the three-star Rouge by Desir hotel in the Rwandan capital Kigali, which has a swimming pool, tennis court, gym and access to a golf course.
Those notified of the Home Office’s intention to remove them to Rwanda have seven days to submit a legal challenge. It is understood that at least 20 appeals have been lodged, although only two cases have been made public.
Lawyers are expected to fight the removals with the same determination they use to challenge the deportation of foreign criminals.
And Dominic Raab this week admitted that the number of migrants deported to Rwanda is likely to only be in the ‘hundreds’ per year, despite Boris Johnson claiming tens of thousands could be sent.
The Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister said he wanted to ‘manage expectations’ about the plan to give people deemed to have arrived in the UK illegally a one-way ticket to the east African nation.
Hooded migrants stand waiting to be escorted off the boat and be processed as they arrive into Dover
An armed forces personnel speaks with migrants who were intercepted trying to cross the Channel today
A Border Force officer and armed service personnel alongside two of the migrants in Dover this morning
Migrants are brought off BF Hurricane and into Dover Harbour, Kent, this morning
When announced last month, Boris Johnson said tens of thousands of people could be flown there under a five-year deal costing taxpayers £120million.
But asked on Friday on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme how many were likely to be sent, Mr Raab said: ‘I would have thought it was more likely to be in the hundreds.’
Under the scheme, for which Kigali is set to be paid £120 million, migrants arriving on small boats across the English channel from France will immediately be transferred to Rwanda, where their paperwork will be processed.
But ongoing legal challenges from charities and a civil service union risk delaying the policy’s rollout for weeks or even months.
Care4Calais and Detention Action are the charities making legal claims against the policy, as is the Public and Commercial Services union.
They are also thought to be preparing legal claims for individual migrants.