Priti Patel: Rwanda plan critics ‘fail to offer their own solutions’ | Immigration and asylum

Priti Patel has defended plans to ship unauthorised asylum seekers on a one-way ticket to Rwanda, saying critics of the scheme have failed to supply any different answer to the migration disaster.

The proposal, introduced final week, has been broadly condemned as inhumane, unlawful, unworkable and prohibitively costly. Critics have included Tory MPs and friends, the UN’s refugee company (UNHCR) and the archbishop of Canterbury, who mentioned, in his Easter Sunday sermon, that the scheme “does not stand the judgment of God”.

Writing within the Times in a joint article with the Rwandan overseas minister, Vincent Biruta, Patel, the house secretary, hit again at critics. She mentioned the proposal was the act of a “humanitarian nation”, describing the partnership as “groundbreaking” and one that will set “a new international standard”.

She mentioned: “We are taking bold and innovative steps and it’s surprising that those institutions that criticise the plans, fail to offer their own solutions.”

The house secretary mentioned the plans would assist put an finish to the “deadly trade” of individuals trafficking and in addition the “deeply unfair” present scenario which “advantages those with the means to pay people traffickers over vulnerable people who cannot”.

She mentioned: “We can provide legal, safe, orderly and controlled ways for people to better their lives, flee oppression, persecution or conflict and enjoy new opportunities.”

However, a letter to the prime minister by 150 British organisations supporting refugees, together with the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Rainbow Migration and Hope not Hate, has claimed the plan would “cause immense suffering” and “result in more, not fewer, dangerous journeys – leaving more people at risk of being trafficked”.

The authorities has additionally been criticised for not creating new protected and authorized routes to the UK for asylum seekers, having beforehand urged that such new routes would be certain that folks would now not must threat their lives making an attempt to succeed in the UK.

Patel and Biruta additionally defended Rwanda towards critics who level out its poor human rights report, with teams having logged torture of detainees.

They wrote that the scheme would “support the humane and respectful treatment of refugees, provide human capital opportunities for migrants and the host community and offer safe and legal pathways for those fleeing persecution and insecurity”.

The power minister, Greg Hands, echoed Patel’s defence. Asked on Sky News if the archbishop of Canterbury was mistaken to name the plan “ungodly”, he mentioned: “I think what others, the critics of this plan, need to do is to show what their solution would be.”

He additionally rejected ideas that the scheme was unworkable, insisting it could act as a “significant deterrent” to folks trying to cross the Channel in small boats.

“We think that it will work and we are confident that it will work, he told Times Radio. “We need to be sending that message now – that crossing the Channel illegally isn’t necessarily going to lead to the person being located in the UK.

“So, the relocation to Rwanda is there – it will act as a significant deterrent, we think, to people making that journey, and [it] will ultimately be at the cost of the people smugglers who … we want to put out of business.”

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