Rwanda raids to begin on Monday with Government set to detain dozens ahead of deportation flights

28 April 2024, 23:03

A series of raids on migrants earmarked for deportation to Rwanda will start on Monday, reports claim.
A series of raids on migrants earmarked for deportation to Rwanda will start on Monday, reports claim. Picture: Alamy

By Chay Quinn

A series of raids on migrants earmarked for deportation to Rwanda will start on Monday, reports claim.

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The Home Office will launch a major operation today to detain those expected to be aboard the first flights to Rwanda in the summer.

Immigration officers will hold up refugees who turn up for routine meetings such as bail appointments and immigration service checks and then detain them ahead of expected deportation, according to the Guardian newspaper.

Read More: 'We are not your loophole': Irish PM slams UK as Britain rejects bid to return migrants across border to NI

The two-week exercise is taking place much earlier than expected - because Home Office officials expect legal challenges to try and delay the flights.

UK Home Office Immigration Enforcement van on duty in Harrow making raids
The Home Office will launch a major operation to detain those expected to be aboard the first flights to Rwanda in the summer. Picture: Alamy

Enver Solomon, the chief executive of the Refugee Council, told The Guardian: “The government is determined to recklessly pursue its inhumane Rwanda plan despite the cost, chaos and human misery it will unleash.

"We know it is likely to cause a catastrophic system meltdown.”

Detainees will be taken to detention centres which are on standby for their arrival - and will be held there until they are put on Rwanda-bound flights.

The Home Office said that the Safety of Rwanda Act becoming law meant “the government is entering the final phase of operationalising this landmark policy to tackle illegal migration and stop the boats”.

It added: “At some stage inevitably this will include detaining people in preparation for the first flight, which is set to take off to Rwanda in 10 to 12 weeks. It would be inappropriate to comment further on operational activity.”

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