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UK: Refugees deported to Rwanda will cost taxpayers $215,000 each

June 27, 2023 at 11:28 am

Border Force Hurricane brought 35 Migrants in to Dover docks this afternoon the Migrants are trying to cross the channel to the UK before they make it law that they are shipped to Rwanda, in Dover, United Kingdom on May 03, 2022 [Stuart Brock/Anadolu Agency]

An impact assessment of the UK government’s Illegal Immigration Bill has found that the cost of sending one person to Rwanda could be almost £170,000 ($216,479).

Estimates have said that having one person in the asylum system costs £106,000 ($134,990), meaning it would cost around £64,000 ($81,503) more to fly someone out to Rwanda.

The government has based their argument on the fact that the policy will act as a deterrent. However, in April, the British Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick said that there had been a more than 400 per cent increase in small boats crossing the English Channel in the last two years.

Last weekend, more than 1,000 people crossed the English Channel on small boats in three days.

The plan to send refugees to Rwanda for processing is part of the Illegal Migration Bill which stipulates that migrants arriving in the UK illegally will be deported to a safe third country.

This Thursday a court will rule on whether it is legal to deport people seeking asylum in the UK to Rwanda where their claims for asylum would be processed.

OPINION: Will the UK’s migrant deportation plan get off the ground?

In April, over 830 UK healthcare professionals and representatives from medical bodies expressed “grave concern” over the government’s plan to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda.

In a letter sent to the prime minister, they warned of the “catastrophic mental and physical harm” to individuals.

MPs and peers have said that the bill breaches several human rights obligations and would affect victims of trafficking and modern slavery.

In March, the Refugee Council said that more than 45,000 children could be locked up in Britain under the bill.

It will also grant the government the power to deny asylum applications from people entering the country via irregular routes and stop people appealing their deportation until after they have been removed.

In January a court in London granted an appeal to a charity that challenged the court’s decision that the government’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda is lawful.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said she wants to press on with the deportation policy “as soon as possible.”

Human rights organisations have argued that the bill violates international law and the UK’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.