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Highest British court rules against sending migrants to Rwanda

Protesters stand outside the Supreme Court in London. Associated Press/Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth

Highest British court rules against sending migrants to Rwanda

Britain’s Supreme Court ruled against government policy on Wednesday which, if enacted, would ship out migrants on a one-way trip to Rwanda. The plan, presented by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, aimed to deter migrants from coming to the United Kingdom by sending tens of thousands of asylum seekers to the East African country. The British government said Wednesday it will still try to carry out the plan by spring. Sunak said the government would seal a treaty with Rwanda to address the court’s concerns and pass a law declaring Rwanda a safe country.

Why did the court vote against it? Five justices ruled unanimously against the police, noting that any migrants sent to Rwanda faced the possibility of being forcibly returned to the countries they initially fled from, putting them “at real risk of ill-treatment.” The deportation of migrants from Rwanda was the main point of Sunak’s immigration policy, which he hoped to enact before facing an election next year. Over 27,000 people have arrived on England’s southern coast this year without permission.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Onize Ohikere’s report on the origins of the U.K.-Rwanda asylum deal.

Tobin Jacobson

Tobin Jacobson is a student at Patrick Henry College and the World Journalism Institute.

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