Can they stop the migrants now?

Can they stop the migrants now?

Receiving asylum in Africa has long been a dream for most immigration critics. Now Britain is on the cusp of achieving that.

Photo: Rohr Hagen/VG

If you come here, we will send you to Africa. This is the message Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wants to send to all migrants thinking of coming to the UK Crossing the English Channel in a small boat.

The plan is ridiculous in many ways. Asylum seekers arriving in the UK illegally soon risk being put on a plane. If not to the motherland, the flight goes to Rwanda – in the center of East Africa. There is no natural stopping point between the British Isles and the countries from which most asylum seekers come.

The entire asylum process will now take place in Rwanda. If the answer to the application is yes, they get asylum there. If they get no, they can stay there for other reasons. Only in very special cases is a return ticket to London possible.

Rwanda has a stable authoritarian regime, which is not particularly safe for political dissidents. But the fact that it's an unattractive place to end up is the crux of the plan. It should act as a deterrent.

Sunak is now desperately trying to get some asylum seekers onto a plane bound for Africa. He promised voters he would “stop the boats.” But the boats keep coming. And to drown. This week has the least Five migrants lost their lives Trying to cross the Channel from France.

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But the Rwanda plan is not a guaranteed success.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak promised voters to stop boats carrying migrants coming across the Channel from France. But they keep coming, and many lose their lives trying to cross. Photograph: Paul/Reuters/NTB

The probability of being pushed for a plane ticket to Kigali is low. There are only 2,200 reception places ready, while between 30,000 and 50,000 migrants have crossed the English Channel annually in recent years.

Those arriving in the UK from countries such as Afghanistan and Iran take on high risks anyway. They have to deal with people smugglers, dangerous border crossings and risk their lives in small, unsafe boats.

It is not certain that fear of Rwanda makes that difference.

But it can work. In this case, there will quickly be more refugee receptions in Africa. Sunak's Rwanda plan represents a trial balloon, and will be watched closely by many European politicians.

Here at home, FRP has long dreamed of getting approval for something similar. The idea of ​​obtaining asylum outside Norway has been discussed in the Labor Party.

Rishi Sunak has good reasons to try new ways to reduce the number of asylum seekers. Many people lose their lives while trying to reach European countries. Poor prospects of obtaining legal residency are not a sufficient deterrent. Human trafficking is a dirty business that makes good money from desperate people.

But the fact that the British largely lack control over their borders is partly their fault.

Migrants take huge risks trying to reach the UK. Here are some of them on their way to Dover last April. Photograph: Ben Stansall/AFP/NTP

Immigration control was one of the most important issues when the British left the European Union. However, things did not go the way Brexiteers wanted.

It is true that free immigration from European Union countries has ended, but immigration from outside the European Union has become almost out of control. For example, about 40,000 Albanians suddenly arrived in small boats across the Channel to seek asylum.

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When they left the EU, the British also left asylum cooperation, and it became difficult to return asylum seekers to the first safe country they came to.

It would of course be much more practical to send migrants back to France than to send them to Africa. But after Brexit, they no longer have the same set of agreements. As a result, dealing with the large number of migrants crossing the English Channel has become more complicated.

Here, the British, led by the Conservatives, spoiled things themselves. When they now struggle to control borders, it is partly because they have abandoned the means of effective control they once had.

They are now trying to piece together a patchwork of agreements with France, among other countries. The Rwanda plan is therefore reminiscent of symbolic politics, which is also characterized by the fact that all attention is focused on the problems of Brexit.

There is an imminent danger that the Rwanda plan will collapse. Legal issues may continue to delay flights. If Sunak cannot get this done before the election in the autumn, it may be too late.

But if successful, it could radically change the asylum landscape.

This is a comment. The comment expresses the writer's position.
Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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