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UK begins detaining migrants to be deported to Rwanda

UK begins detaining migrants to be deported to Rwanda

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's policy is an attempt to combat the influx of migrants arriving in the UK in small boats from mainland Europe.

Reports emerged that immigration agents were detaining people headed for deportation flights to Rwanda earlier this week. The British Home Office confirmed on Wednesday that a “series of nationwide operations” were underway.

“The first illegal immigrants sent to Rwanda have now been arrested,” the ministry said. The ministry described the measure as “another important milestone” in Rwanda's plan, and released photos and videos of immigration agents detaining several migrants in various accommodations. They were seen being handcuffed and placed in reinforced security vehicles.

Home Affairs Minister James Cleverley said authorities were “working at a rapid pace to arrest those who have no right to be here so we can get flights off the ground.”

The government revealed on Tuesday that it expects to deport 5,700 migrants to Rwanda this year, a number the Rwandan government has agreed “in principle” to accept. Of these, 2,143 “can already be identified.” British ministers confirmed that law enforcement forces would find the rest.

The UK government said on Wednesday it had increased its detention capacity to more than 2,200 places ahead of the first flights to Rwanda. He added that commercial charter planes were also seized, and the airport was suspended.

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