Rather than doing anything practical to tackle gangs, the government blames human rights lawyers – the very people who are making sure asylum seekers are correctly and lawfully processed.

First published: May 2022.

Boris Johnson boasting about traumatising 50 vulnerable asylum seekers by notifying them they will be shipped 4,000 miles away while acknowledging he cannot actually do it because of legal challenges shows this is all about performative cruelty rather than practical policy.

Daily Mail, 13-May-2022.

It is sick and twisted.

Are we seriously saying that because a Ukrainian citizen gave up waiting for one of the mythological visas the government promised and crossed the channel in a small boat instead, that they are not a “genuine refugee”?

Well, the same goes for everyone else.

The Times, 12-May-2022.

Shipping people thousands of miles away does not break up trafficking gangs.

What the hell do you think happens next? The traffickers prey on them with promises of helping them return. You are creating a never ending supply of victims for them.

A never ending trade in misery.

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Rwanda’s record of human rights violations alone should have raised red flags, but this is not about “safety”. The government cares even less about asylum seekers than the trafficking gangs. All it wants is for them to be out of sight out of mind, and doesn’t care how many die.

Do you know why legal challenges can be made against the Rwanda plan? It isn’t so human rights lawyers can make money. It is because the plan is illegal. If the Home Office wanted to stop getting taken to court the simple solution would be for it to stop breaking the law.

Home Secretary Priti Patel and Minister Biruta sign the migration and economic development partnership between the UK and Rwanda. | UK Home Office

There are ways to cut channel crossings. They rely on making access to the asylum system simpler and faster though. They rely on providing asylum.

So, instead, the government blames lawyers rather than doing anything practical to tackle gangs.

PMP Magazine

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Dan Sohege, Human rights advocate, international refugee law specialist, immigration economist, charity fundraising professional and Director of Stand For All.


Going Further:

  • Text: This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 15 May 2022 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected, and published with the author’s consent. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.
  • Cover: Flickr/UK Home Office. - Home Secretary Priti Patel and Minister Biruta sign the migration and economic development partnership between the UK and Rwanda. | 14 April 2022. (Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)
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