WATCH: Home Office launches video to encourage illegal immigrants to quit UK for Rwanda - 'It's for your own wellbeing!'

rwanda migration clip
Richard Jeffries

By Richard Jeffries

Published: 27/12/2022

- 13:57

Updated: 14/02/2023

- 10:25

Rwandan Government reassures asylum seekers they want to 'protect and invest' in them

THE Home Office has released a video in association with Rwanda to encourage illegal immigrants to leave the UK.

In the clip, entitled: "Explained in 30 seconds: The UK-Rwanda Migration Partnership", migrants are encouraged to relocate to the the central African country.

The video was posted on the official Home Office Twitter page.

ONE EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVING. NO ALTERING OR MANIPULATING. NO USE ON SOCIAL MEDIA UNLESS AGREED BY HOL PHOTOGRAPHY SERVICE. MANDATORY CREDIT: House of Lords 2022/Roger Harris Handout photo issued by UK Parliament of Home Secretary Suella Braverman appearing before the Lords Justice and Home Affairs Committee in the House of Lords, London. Issue date: Wednesday December 21, 2022.
Rwanda plan: Home Secretary Suella Braverman is determined to make the deportations work

In it, Rwandan government spokeswoman Yolande Makolo reassures illegal immigrants in the UK: "This is about investing in people. It's about protecting and ensuring the wellbeing of both migrants and Rwandans in Rwanda.

"In Rwanda we believe that Africans and other people should be able to live a dignified life."

She adds: "They should not need to take dangerous journeys that endanger their lives in order to have opportunities to live and develop themselves."

The clip received a mixed reaction online, with some people blasting it as "propaganda" while others questioned the point of a motivational video for forced deportations.

One Twitter user responded: "We need a proper fast fair immigration and asylum policy. This corrupt myopic Tory administration have it all wrong. Where is the humanity? The Rwanda policy is ethically wrong and expensive. Stop it now and cease the spin and waste of tax payers money."

Another added: "That's Rwanda, where 500,000+ people were massacred because of internal civil conflict? You can't be serious?"

But others supported the need to remove illegal immigrants, with one adding: "I don't know why we can't just send them back to France."

While Alan Johnston asked: "So can these migrants just make their way to Rwanda and be looked after then?"

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has said there are “ongoing discussions with several airlines” to start deporting failed asylum seekers to Rwanda after Privilege Style pulled out in October amid pressure from campaigners.

The Government used a plane run by the Spanish charter airline for first flight in June, which was abandoned at the last minute due to legal challenges.

Asked if she had since found another airline to operate flights to Rwanda, Ms Braverman said: “We have a lot of ongoing discussions with several airlines.

“We are returning people almost every week to various countries around the world. We do that through scheduled flights, we charter flights… so we’re in a variety of discussions with several airlines for lots of different destinations.”

Migrant crisis: A record number of illegal immigrants have arrived in the UK this year
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Gareth Fuller

The “delivery” of the Rwanda deal was “on pause, it’s on hold while we’re going through litigation”, she added.

Last week Ms Braverman said she was committed to sending migrants to Rwanda as soon as possible after High Court judges ruled the Government’s multi-million pound plan to give migrants who cross the Channel to the UK a one-way ticket to the east African nation was lawful.

But Downing Street admitted it was impossible to say when flights could take off while the threat of further legal action remained.

The Government will spend £3.5billion on accommodation and support for asylum seekers in 2022/23, of which a staggering £2.3billion will go towards paying for hotels, Ms Braverman said as she hinted that migrants could be housed on disused cruise ships.

“We are accommodating 117,000 people overall who are in our asylum process”, she said.

“We are due to spend £3.5billion in the 2022/23 financial year on accommodation and supporting that population of people. That includes £2.7billion on accommodating asylum seekers – that’s £2.3billion on hotels and £400million elsewhere is on other types of accommodation.

“So there is a huge amount of money that is going into accommodating a very large number of asylum seekers.”

Describing how “everything is still on the table and nothing is excluded”, Ms Braverman confirmed the Home Office was considering housing asylum seekers on disused cruise ships and suggested officials were in talks with ship companies.

She also discussed the “incredibly difficult” challenge of hitting the ambition of getting 100,000 asylum seekers into local authority accommodation – as opposed to resorting to hotels – with that figure currently at 57,000.

Alistair Carmichael, home affairs spokesman for the Liberal Democrats, branded the asylum costs “astronomical” and warned that the “ludicrous proposals” to house asylum seekers on cruise ships will be “ineffective and incredibly expensive”.

Steve Valdez-Symonds, Amnesty International UK’s refugee and migrant rights director, said: “On top of the clear unsuitability, Suella Braverman’s talk of housing people seeking asylum in old cruise ships, disused holiday camps and student halls is just more distraction from the urgent task of reforming an asylum system that she and her predecessor have effectively broken.”

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