While the Rwanda plan is law in the UK, there has been a new tragedy across the Channel

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The contested Rwanda plan – waved like a pre-election flag by Rishi Sunak’s conservative government, with the commitment to transfer to Africa for dissuasive purposes quotas of asylum seekers who landed illegally in England – is now law in the United Kingdom. But the controversies do not subside, nor do the tragedies of the sea in the Channel stop.

Overnight, the initiative received the expected final green light from the Westminster Parliament, where the non-elective House of Lords ultimately bowed as usual to the will of the political majority of the Commons, which had approved the implementing law some time ago .

The epilogue arrived after a ping pong of amendments presented by the lords, and regularly rejected by the Tory deputies, at the culmination of a river session imposed yesterday by the executive to close the game in the face of “obstructionism” attributed to the Labor Party.

Then the text – re-proposed in an encore version in such a way as to circumvent a previous rejection by the Supreme Court – passed into the hands of Charles III for the due act of Royal Assent (the automatic signature of the legislative measure by the king as head of State).

On paper now the Government, barring new appeal attempts or organizational obstacles, will need “10-12 weeks” to start the first flights, as already anticipated by Sunak who from Poland – where he is visiting – praised the approval of the plan as the premise of “a radical change in the global equation” on the migration phenomenon.

A tool through which we aim to make it clear to those who enter “illegally in the United Kingdom” that “they will not be able to stay there”, the prime minister – the son of Indian immigrants himself – cut short, reiterating that “nothing will stop us ».

Accelerated procedures to identify a first group of “illegal immigrants”

To follow the words with the facts, the executive made it known quickly this morning, through sources in the Home Office (the Interior Ministry), that it had accelerated the procedures for the identification of a first group of “illegal immigrants” » with “low probability” of seeing asylum applications accepted on the island: destined to leave with the first planes flying to Kigali probably in July, according to the deadline indicated yesterday after the last postponement.

Candidates for ‘deportation’, some of whom – for example an Iranian – have informed the media that they have in the meantime been reached by ministerial telephone messages warning them.

Effectiveness and practicability of the Rwanda plan to be demonstrated

The dissuasive potential of the Rwanda plan in terms of effectiveness and concrete practicability, however, remains to be demonstrated, exorbitant costs and internal and international human rights protests aside.

While just today, in the waters of northern France (departure country of the final journeys towards the English coasts of the “small boats” of the smugglers that Sunak claims he wants to block in the name of post-Brexit promises after months of record arrivals) it took place yet another drama.

With the sinking of a boat off the beach of Wimereux, in the Pas-de-Calais department, the death of at least 5 migrants (including a child) and the recovery aboard a tugboat of around a hundred survivors in the in the rescue efforts coordinated by the Marine Nationale.

“These journeys are dangerous, as demonstrated by the tragic deaths in the Channel,” Sunak commented immediately. “It is the status quo that costs so many lives”, echoed his Interior Minister James Cleverly (who arrived in Italy today to discuss cooperation against illegal immigration with his colleague Matteo Piantedosi), not without grasping the opportunity to claim for the Rwanda plan the objective of “stopping the boats of human traffickers” and discouraging their deadly crossings.

Wrong way to combat migratory flows

Among the activists who criticize the project, however, it is underlined that these tragic events are evidence of a desperation that no legislative crackdown can really compress.

While in a joint note the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, and his counterpart for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, once again denounce the Rwanda plan (also condemned by the Council of Europe) as «a dangerous precedent for global level”: warning the Sunak government that “irregular flows of refugees and migrants” must indeed be fought, but “on the basis of international cooperation and respect for human rights”.

This article is originally published on bluewin.ch

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