UK Home Office Unable To Locate Over 3,500 Potential Rwanda Deportees

The British Home Office has been unable to establish contact with and does not know the whereabouts of more than 3,500 asylum seekers.

The ‘missing’ migrants are part of over 5,700 who are subject for removal under the Rwanda deportation bill, according to the The Times newspaper.

Sputnik reports: On Sunday, The Guardian reported that the UK interior ministry would launch mass detention of migrants across the United Kingdom on April 29, weeks ahead of schedule, for their further deportation to Rwanda.

Only 2,145 migrants “continue to report to the Home Office and can be located for detention,” the document, quoted by the newspaper, read.

The remaining 3,557 asylum seekers are not necessarily hiding from the authorities, but they are not subject to reporting restrictions, and the Home Office is now unable to locate them for detention, the report said.

Earlier this week, the UK parliament passed the Rwanda deportation bill. Ahead of the bill’s passage, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that the first deportation flights from the UK to Rwanda could begin in 10-12 weeks. He added that there would be multiple flights per month through the summer and beyond.

Rwanda and the UK signed a migration agreement in 2022, under which people identified by the UK government as undocumented migrants or asylum seekers will be deported to Rwanda for processing, asylum and resettlement. The scheme has drawn criticism from human rights organizations, as well as numerous politicians and officials within the UK.

The first deportation flight was supposed to take place in June 2022 but never happened due to the intervention of the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled it unlawful. The UK government had to draft a new deal last year after the UK Supreme Court determined that the initial scheme did not guarantee the safety of asylum seekers.