Former asylum seeker, now a Thanet councillor, slams UK plan to send ‘illegal route’ migrants to Rwanda

Cllr Aram Rawf

A Thanet councillor who was eventually granted British citizenship after fleeing Iraq has condemned the government announcement that people arriving in the UK through ‘illegal routes’ may be sent to the east African country of Rwanda.

On Thursday Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new Migration and Economic Development Partnership saying it “will mean that anyone entering the UK illegally – as well as those who have arrived illegally since January 1st – may now be relocated to Rwanda.”

The Prime Minister added: “This innovative approach – driven by our shared humanitarian impulse and made possible by Brexit freedoms – will provide safe and legal routes for asylum, while disrupting the business model of the (people smuggling)  gangs, because it means that economic migrants taking advantage of the asylum system will not get to stay in the UK, while those in genuine need will be properly protected, including with access to legal services on arrival in Rwanda, and given the opportunity to build a new life in that dynamic country, supported by the funding we are providing.

Kigali in Rwanda

“The deal we have done is uncapped and Rwanda will have the capacity to resettle tens of thousands of people in the years ahead.

“And let’s be clear, Rwanda is one of the safest countries in the world, globally recognised for its record on welcoming and integrating migrants.”

The PM says this scheme will combat the people smuggling trade, particularly small boats crossing the Channel. The plan runs alongside government spending on new asylum processing centres, including at Manston, and the Royal Navy taking over operational command from Border Force in the Channel.

Aram aged 17

Aram Rawf arrived in the UK as a 17-year-old after fleeing Iraq in the back of a lorry. He had been taken to a mountain camp in  northern Iraq – previously Kurdistan – and tortured by extremists for two month after he refused to train as a suicide bomber.

A ruse by his older sister saw him taken to hospital and then on to his escape.

More than twenty years later Aram is a British citizen, a Labour Party Thanet councillor, a volunteer and a campaigner.

The Iraq/Iran war ended in 1988 but thousands of Kurdish people were killed in a poison gas attack by the Iraqi regime. In 1991 there were hundreds of thousands more killed during a failed Kurdish rising, Saddam Hussein then imposed a blockade on the Kurdish controlled area of northern Iraq. Faction groups became embroiled in civil war with one side receiving backing from Hussein’s troops.

The 40-year-old, who lives and works in Broadstairs, said: “Boris Johnson’s government has reached a new low with the latest ruling on sending refugees to Rwanda. Britain is short of workers, the NHS has huge staff vacancies. Having alienated European workers the government now wants them again. Yet it is prepared to spend a fortune flying people to Rwanda to meet their fate in a country condemned on its human rights record and thousands of miles from anyone who can check on their safety.

“What kind of thinking is this?  It won’t stop refugees fleeing disasters or war or dictatorships. Common humanity is completely lacking in this policy as is basic common sense. And if you think Manston airport should be saved, are you willing to see flights leaving there with people being taken to an uncertain and possibly lethal future?

“Boris is creating a distraction from partygate and appealing to the worst elements in his supporters in the hope it will influence the local elections next year.

“As a former asylum seeker I condemn this policy wholeheartedly and as a human being I condemn the politicians who can invent such cruelty.”

Rwanda and charity response to the plan


In 1994 ethnic genocide in Rwanda left up to 800,000 Tutsi people dead. The genocide ended when the Tutsi-dominated rebel movement, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), captured Kigali. The RPF overthrew the Hutu government and seized power. Since then, there has been massive progress in uniting and rebuilding the country and there has been strong economic growth. However, around 39.1% of people in Rwanda still live in poverty and a report by Human Rights Watch in 2020 said credible sources claimed arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, and torture in official and unofficial detention facilities, continued.

The relocation to Rwanda deal has also been criticised by charities.

Zoë Abrams, executive director at the British Red Cross, said: “We are profoundly concerned that the UK Government is proposing to send traumatised people half-way round the world to Rwanda.

“The financial and human cost will be considerable; evidence from where offshoring has been implemented elsewhere shows it leads to real human suffering, plus the bill that taxpayers will be asked to foot is likely to be huge.

“We are not convinced this drastic measure will deter desperate people from attempting to cross the Channel either. People come here for reasons we can all understand, like wanting to be reunited with loved ones, or because they speak the language. Making it harsher may do little to stop them risking their lives.”

The charity is asking Government to urgently rethink the plans.

Government says it is “confident” that the deal is fully compliant with  international legal obligations although the PM said he expected it to be challenged in the courts.

PM Boris Johnson

The PM added: “I know there will be a vocal minority who will think these measures are draconian and lacking in compassion. I simply don’t agree.

“There is no humanity or compassion in allowing desperate and innocent people to have their dreams of a better life exploited by ruthless gangs, as they are taken to their deaths in unseaworthy boats.

“And there is no humanity or compassion in endlessly condemning the people smugglers, but then time and again ducking the big calls needed to break the business model of the gangs and stop these boats coming.

“And there is no humanity or compassion in calling for unlimited safe and legal routes, offering the false hope of asylum in the UK to anyone who wants it, because that is just unsustainable.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel says Rwanda has one of the strongest records of refugee resettlement and in recent years has resettled over 100,000 refugees.

She added: “Those who are resettled will be given support, including up to five years of training to help with integration, accommodation, and healthcare, so that they can resettle and thrive.

“As part of this ground-breaking agreement, the UK is making a substantial investment in the economic development of Rwanda.

“This will support programmes to improve the lives of the people in Rwanda and develop the country, economy, job prospects, and opportunities. In addition, the UK will provide funding and expertise to implement this agreement.”

One man’s journey from torture and war to caring for the Thanet community


  1. I can see Cllr Aram Rawf way of thinking. He came here illegally, became a Labour Cllr and now wants more labour voters to come to this country, makes sense. Its been a Labour plan since Tony Blair.

    • It is terrible when people merely born in a different country come here enrich our society work hard and contribute to society… you are right. It’s far better to have Tories that are born here and then do their best to avoid tax, break laws and generally not contribute to society. It’s been their plan for far longer than Blair.

      Good point SeeSee well made.

      • I hate the Tories too! Whole system is rotten to the core. If all immigrants were like Aram Rawf we’d be better for it, unfortunately they are not.

        Its a shame that you couldn’t make your point very well as you based it on your assumption I vote conservative. And just say what you think directly, you dont need sarcasm in this instance.

          • Its uncontrolled, you dont know what you are getting. At what point is it worth letting them continue? We gain x amount of decent people for x amount of economic migrants / criminals, how would you even measure that?

            For example if we had a processing centre in France where only passport / ID holders would be allowed into UK, and any criminals rejected, do you think the crossings would stop? If you knew a boat full of criminals were on their way would you still open your arms to them?

    • Yes, how disgraceful that he was abducted, refused to become a terrorist, was tortured for two months & then fled overseas to escape & made a goof life for himself paying taxes & eventually representing his community.

      Much better to spend hundreds of millions & more likely billions of taxpayer money exporting people to a place with abysmal human rights. After all who cares how much the Tories waste? 9 billion odd on useless PPE by giving contracts to their tax dodging friends with no experience in the sector? Barely even got a mention in the media.

    • Looking at many of these comments shows that the sociopath PM’s dead cat story has worked taking attention from his lies and law-breaking, his tax shy chancellor and loss of 37 billion quid. Throw some rancid racist meat and abuse of vulnerable people to the hard-of-thinking that gave us Brexit and live to to gaslight the nation more knowing that the very wise racist base will lap up abuse of brown people. Little England at its best.

    • Exactly.
      Some Labour celeb even claimed they were coming with little dinghies for war torn countries. Belgium, France ? ?

  2. If this stops the Traffickers who trade in human suffering and death then so be it. Its worked in Australia. How many have died in the Channel? We really don’t know, are the Traffickers going to report a missing boat? Can we have another lorry load of people suffocating because evil men are more interested is making money than taking care of them. Why are we blaming ourselves? This is criminal murderous activity that is killing people who just want to make a life for themselves. If it takes a short sharp shock tactic to stop them making money by exploiting people then so be it.

    • Why criminalise those in need. If the government wanted to really stop traffickers then it should set up asylum processing centres in refugee camps and across Europe that why the process can be started safely. Then provide safe secure travel to the UK. That way traffickers are taken out of it and won’t cost the hundreds of millions this inhumane scheme will.

    • Which it will not-from past experience.

      Rwanda signed a similar agreement with Israel between 2014 and 2017 that was not a success, with almost of all of the 4,000 detainees sent there swiftly leaving the country to undertake the perilous journey to Europe, some of whom are understood to have fallen prey to human traffickers en route, notably in Libya.

      Britain condemned Rwanda for failing to investigate human rights violations just months before Boris Johnson agreed to deport thousands of asylum seekers there.

      But it has emerged that just 10 months before the agreement was signed, the UK raised alarm about a failure by authorities in Rwanda to properly investigate alleged human rights abuses and to protect and support victims of trafficking.

      A statement by the UK’s international ambassador for human rights Rita French in July 2021 expressed “regret” that Rwanda was not conducting “transparent, credible and independent investigations into allegations of human rights violations including deaths in custody and torture”.

      She added: “We were disappointed that Rwanda did not support the UK recommendation to screen, identify and provide support to trafficking victims, including those held in government transit centres.”

    • PJ, it didn’t work in Australia, or Denmark, or Sweden because it was too costly! In my newspaper this morning The Permanent Secretary to the Home Office said its his duty to see any new policies are economically viable, and worth the money”. He went on to say its “economically unproven! This inhuman ploy to play to the gullible grunts who voted to leave the EU are to blame for all this human misery!

      Johnson said “It will mean anyone entering the UK illegally as well as those who have arrived since 1st January, may now be relocated to Rwanda”. For “Relocated” read forcibly deported! The NAZI’s used a similar ploy, “relocating people to the East” and we all know what happened to them! Johnson goes on to say “This innovative approach driven by our shared humanitarian impulse made possible by Brexit”, This is sheer Orwellian double speak!

      It is Brexit that “Pulls” migrants to come here, because they know once they set foot in the UK they can’t be returned to any EU country, which they could have been when we were a member of the EU! Incidentally, many of those trying to get here are escaping being forcibly conscripted into Islamic militias as Aram Rawf says! No, Deporting already traumatised mostly young people to a 3rd World country, with a very dubious human rights record, run by a dictator, who was condemned by Johnson not so long ago, is just a ploy to appeal to the ill informed, and ignorant who fell for his lies when he claimed £350 million a week would go the NHS if we left the EU! Well it didn’t happen, but enough people fell for his lies, and look where we are now, a tiny off shore island with very little world wide influence!

  3. Best thing Boris has done todate, sending the illegal immigrants out of England will stop us, the tax payers being screwed.
    Half of the immigrants can’t even speak English, therefore are unemployable which means they are a burden on the tax payers.
    Apart from people of Ukraine nobody should be seeking peace in the UK.

    • What’s special about refugees fleeing from war atrocities in Ukraine and refugees fleeing from war atrocities elsewhere?

    • You might have forgotten the part where the UK government will be spending hundreds of millions, if not billions of UK taxpayer money on this farce. 120 million just as an initial payment, all operational costs & get this it will save no money at all-The Home Office said a set amount of funding will be provided for each relocated person. But it declined to say how much, other than to say it will be comparable to current processing costs in the UK and cover case workers, legal advice, translators, accommodation, food and healthcare. So in reality they(us) will be paying the same as they already were for doing the same things there, along with all the money they are paying on top for shipping them out there etc.

      You might also recall, even though the media barely bothered reporting it that the government wasted 8.7 billion of UK taxpayer money on useless PPE by giving their tax avoidance friends contracts to make/supply it, despite them having no experience in the field-which then ended up being binned or still sitting in containers at docks. Isn’t that more concerning?

      You may also remember all the Tory promises that leaving the EU would stop illegal immigration-another lie that people fell for. Nor will this stop immigration here either-it has been made quite clear that they will send some 7 have no numbers.

      • Apparently we’re currently spending £4.7m a DAY just on hotel accomodation for our current complement of arrivals, what’s the cost per arrival who’s successful by the tome the country has housed, fed, medical treatment etc. Then what about those that then wish to take advantage of the right of family reunion and those that although they want to live here want brides from their homelands.
        We keep getting the term asylum seeker applied to all the arrivals when many are anything but. A convenient label does not legitimise their actions.

        • Your such an ignoramus LC! In my newspaper yesterday former Tory MP International Development Secretary stated “87% of those seeking asylum are from war torn Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and repressive Iran” Thats another reason why they can’t be sent anywhere like Rwanda! Duurh!

      • The ukranian refugees are being accepted on short term visas and effectively forego their right to claim asylum or permanent refugee status, so in effect they are being offered short term shelter after which they are expected to return to Ukraine.
        The “refugees” claiming to be from other war zones have very little intention of returning to their homelands. So a big difference.

          • You asked a question and i gave you an answer, it defines the difference between differing nationalities escaping war zones ( those coming from ukraine we are checking are who they say they are, as against many other arrivals have no such checks). If you consider my response cynical can you give some numbers for those that have sought asylum here and then returned to their homeland , as a percentage of the whole?
            As i’ve mentioned beforemi’ve worked in around 50 countries and in the overwhelming majority the uk is seen as a land of plenty , open the doors and we’d be overwhelmed in no time at all.

    • How are they illegal please tell what law refugees have broken? Post brexit is it now illegal to travel in a boat across the channel? I guess that might 3xplain P&O problems if they discovered all the people they ferried across the channel are illegal?

      • Compared to many other countries, Britain is a land of plenty. I can’t give the percentage LC asks for. But I expect someone else can.

      • Good point – and one missed by most media and deliberately so by the government.

        There is no such thing as an illegal means of crossing the channel. Illegality only comes into play if the traveller deliberately seeks to evade the authorities on landing in the UK.

        This has been tested in the courts and Priti Patel and Boris Johnson just pretend it’s not true.

        Asylum seekers also have a right to apply for asylum in any country of their choice – not the first ‘safe’ country – another PP/BJ myth.

        The Rwanda distraction is just that – playing to the faithful with a tough-sounding measure that will never be fully implemented and will achieve nothing.

    • David your an ill informed grunt, get help! Fact: as in the rest of Europe British mothers are failing to reproduce, our native born population has been in decline for decades! Its vital we at least reproduce ourselves, or the population will go into decline, and incidentally, migrants are willing to do the jobs no Britain will get out of bed for! We have vegetables and fruit rotting in the ground, and on trees because of a lack of labour, Duurh! The Care industry is desperate for staff, which were once plentiful made up of foreign labour! Its the small minded xenophobic gullible numpties who got us into this mess, and Brexit was the greatest self harm to this country since Munich, When Chamberlin a Tory, caved in to Hitler!

      Once again the world is on the brink of another catastrophic European war, that could turn into a world war, and do you think for a second Johnson will lead us? No he won’t, because he is a chancer, in it for what he can get out of it, one thing he is not, and that is a Statesman! We need young strong men and women to repopulate the country, and by the way most of them coming here do speak at least some English, but not French, German, Dutch, Danish etc, I know because I have met many of them, have you? Get your facts right before spouting your racist nonsense Joyce!

      • Dumpton, religious and societal norms will mean that the vast majority of the young single men arriving on our shores claiming to be refugees from war zones , would never consider working in the care sector. As they would consider it “ womens work” and as such an anathema to them.

        There are plenty of comments above about the various legalities of claiming asylum, which is all very well but relies on the premise that all the claimants are being honest about their origins and reasons for travel. The reason that so many arrive with no paperwork or verifiable information is that they are fabricating their reasons for coming here and want to game the system. We have the absurdity that we can’t carry out genetic testing or underake tests to verify ages of the strapping beareded young men claiming to be children.
        The system is abused and the response to the abuse is such that it affects all, but it must be remembered that the rwandan proposal is aimed only at single young men believed to have entered the country illegally.

  4. “driven by our shared humanitarian impulse and made possible by Brexit freedoms – ”
    Sending people to Rwanda and using the word “humanitarian” is misplaced indeed.
    “a report by Human Rights Watch in 2020 said credible sources claimed arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, and torture in official and unofficial detention facilities, continued.”

    As for Brexit: if we were still in Europe, then, under the terms of the Dublin Protocol, refugees entering the UK from the EU could simply be sent back to the EU country they came from. Now that we’re no longer in Europe, the government can’t do that anymore. So, leaving the EU has created huge problems for the government and its “humanitarian” refugee policies.

    • I read that there were more immigrants sent back to us than we were able to send out under the Dublin agreement? Mostly from Greece?

      • No. If refugees (from outside the EU) first landed in Greece, then made their way to the UK, under the Dublin Protocol, the UK could send them back to Greece.
        For Greece to send refugees back to the UK, the refugees would have first had to make footfall in the UK, then make their way to Greece. How would they have got to the UK in the first place?

        • Ah right, I dont know, I read something online about the Dublin agreement but I dont know how trustworthy or accurate it was. Difficult to know what is trustworthy and what isn’t.

  5. If you could trust only those who are genuine refugees to turn up it’d be easy, but we can’t and its nigh on a free for all and as with many such things it means all suffer. So be it. I’ve no supympathy for those that choose to want to live in the uk and to do so are happy to enter illegally , if as a result they meet an untimely demise it’s the price they pay for their gamble.
    Sending young single males that enter illegally to Rwanda seems a sensible move and will hopefully send a message to those that would follow them.
    The politically motivated rhetoric is tiresome, compare and contrast the outcry over the death of Joe Cox by a “right wing fantic” with known meantal issues with the death of David Amess at the hands of a religious fanatic, the latter is hardly talked about. Lunacy all of it.

      • And the reaction at the time of Jo Coxes death went into great detail about Tommy Mairs alledged right wing views and actions, shamefully linked to brexit at every opportunity,we’ve had little if any condemnation of religious extremism.
        The news has been reported but we’ve not had any discussion on the reasons for David Amesses death in the same manner.
        Same with the killing of 3 homosexuals in a park, or a childs throat cut on a mothers day by a migrant. Far too much political convenience used.

        • He didn’t agree with MPs support of bombing Syria No obvious religious or factional political side to it. Just that Bit if a lone wolf it would seem.

          • Just as Tommy Mair could have been seen as alone wolf, but we had endless references to extreme right wing views and the dangers of the right, Sir David Amess was killed as a result of religious extremism, the 3 homosexuals killed in the park by a religious extremist, a scottish shop keeper killed by a religious extremist because he was’nt seen as sufficiently adherent. A common thread of religious extremism that is seen as politically incorrect to address. Then you have the asian grooming gangs where councils despite full knowledgemof what was happening turned a blind eye for fearmof stigmatising a community. There was a kiddie brothel in cliftonville that when shut down had no publicity again for fear of stigmatising the communitymof which the perpetrators were members ( eastern european in that case).
            Protecting sections of society whoever they may be due to their colour ,creed, social status, sexuality, religion , wealth , (or any other differentiator you choose ) from the consequences of their wrongdoings is wrong.

    • This is all about trying to move public attention away from Johnson’s conviction for breaking the law! It will be interesting to see how many MP’s, and who they are, that vote NOT to expel Johnson for misleading parliament. No doubt Mackinlay will, not so sure Gale will as he is retiring, so possibly may!

  6. If they cannot prove who they are and were they came from then they should be returned to the EU. Let’s face it, if we turned up like they do here in a foreign country with no id your out so why should we be any different

    • And just how would they be returned back to the EU then Chris? No EU country is obliged to take in refused asylum seekers from the UK now we are no longer a member, and they don’t!

  7. I don’t think bandits in France should be made rich by migrants paying them thousands of pounds to illegally come into the U.K. apparently the U.K. has paid the French authorities millions of pounds to prevent the inflatable boats leaving the French coast and it has been a complete failure some migrants have drowned. The open door we had when in the EU has been come the open shore. What suggestions do others have that would stop the influx of migrants. I am not a Tory.

  8. It is clearly the usual vote getting rubbish-however the public response to this seems to be overwhelmingly critical for three reasons.

    1. The Ukraine crisis has shone a light on the plight of refugees.

    2. The past get em out campaigns, trying to appeal to Daily Mail, Sun etc readers have failed-Windrush was a colossal failure morally & legally & will eventually cost the UK taxpayer a huge amount for people illegally deported. People are finally starting to see what these campaigns are-lies & even when they promise to end illegal immigration, as with the EU vote, people see the exact opposite happening over & over.

    3. People are seeing it doesn’t add up-the government have admitted they will be paying the Rwandans to do exactly the same & the processing costs will be comparable just as if they were done here. Then on top of that they will be giving 120 million as an initial payment, followed by hundreds of millions & likely billions more over the years & other costs on top-so there is no logic as it will cost the UK taxpayer several times more than doing it here would incur & many will still be dealt with here. So the only answer as to why they are doing it is trying to win the next election.

    • How much have the afghan aircraft hijackers cost the nation since they arrived and what have they contributed in return?
      How many houses and services are we to pay out for those choosing to come here for no other reason than wanting a better life?

  9. Surely, it’s much cheaper, easier and more humane to employ enough Home Office staff to investigate asylum claims very quickly. Currently, there are so few staff employed in this work that the whole system drags on for years sometimes, especially if the individual appeals against an original decision. As the original decision would have been taken by a harassed staff member with too few colleagues and too many cases ,the appeal may well succeed.
    Why bother sending people to Rwanda when the whole process can be made much quicker with more staff here in Britain ?
    A lot of asylum seekers choose the UK because they have family or friends here. It’s not as if they will get a pleasant welcome as some of the responses to this Rwanda plan have shown. And the UK, contrary to the propaganda , is NOT generous with benefits , whether to British residents OR to asylum seekers. The UK gets far fewer immigrants than most other European countries as most have to travel through other countries to get here. Why put yourself in danger to get to the UK unless there is a specific, personal, reason for choosing this country? Which is usually a working knowledge of English or some local relatives who can take care of them.
    One reason that the French authorities have tended to be a bit slow to clamp down is that they just cannot believe all the fuss. France has far more asylum applications than Britain and Britain only faces refugees in open boats because Britain is not willing to accept asylum applications from people who are not already in this country.
    Currently, the only “correct” way of gaining asylum in Britain is to be here already, maybe as a diplomat or journalist, a ballet dancer or an athlete. In other words , you can only get away from your dangerous, repressive country if that country has agreed to let you travel here for some apparently innocent reason.
    I suspect that most of the over 70 Rwandans who have escaped from their brutal , repressive country to gain refugee status in Britain, arrived here in that way.

  10. Absolutely agree with Aram. And with the Archbishop of Canterbury, by the way. Why don’t we accept other human beings escaping wars and looking for a chance in this country? What’s wrong with us??

      • How would you define an economic migrant? People who can’t work where they live because their homes are rubble or their government doesn’t let women earn money? Or they have to go to food banks in Thanet because their job is so low paid they can’t feed their kids? Maybe they should be relocated to Africa too?

        • And do you think having everyone in this country would improve wages? Or haven’t you ever heard of the law of “supply and demand”?

          As for food banks, I saw a queue outside one a while back, and at least 75% of them were obese, and using expensive i-phones (which I cannot afford).

  11. Today Sunday more than 200 immigrants arrived by boat according to ITV local news at 7pm this is a scheme which will cost millions of pounds as they say its open ended. We have more illegal immigration in our country from those who enter legally but then they never leave the country after their visa expires, I’ve been looking into what Pritti Patel wants to do under the Dublin agreement and immigration laws it possibly is illegal to send illegal immigrants to another country without going through the regulations laid out in law, it is possible I have read them wrong it is a lot of reading, also it will not stop them coming from France in rubber boats, yes we have to find a way to stop it somehow and get them to enter legally.

  12. Thank you Aram for your contribution, both as a new citizen of the UK and to the wider debate about how we as a nation treat those fleeing war, natural disaster and tyranny.
    I note that most refugees end their journey in countries neighbouring the nations they have fled from. Some travel further, as is their right to do so, for a variety of reasons, often the neighbouring nations are overwhelmed, the sheer number of people displaced sometimes runs into millions, as is often the case when war is imposed on nations.
    Typically those who profit from war, such as the UK as a major arms exporter, fail to do their part in picking up the pieces, providing safe refuge for people fleeing war or other disasters. As one can see from the thread responding to Aram’s contribution, many Brits are happy with the treasury receipts from arms sales, or at least ambivalent towards them, yet are unwilling to offer even a few thousand refuge, as is our obligation under several international treaties. We can and should do better and offer safe and legal routes for refugees to come to the UK and settle.

  13. They enter the country illegally, so their first act is a criminal one. These people should not be allowed into the country. Their boats should be towed back and left in French waters. “But its too dangerous!” They created the situation by choosing to break the law so the repercussions are on them. “But they’re refugees!” and international law says they should seek shelter in the next nearest safe country. The UK isn’t the next nearest. They are economic migrants entering the country illegally. They are criminals by their own actions. And Rwanda is a beautiful country. It isn’t the civil war-torn state people remember from the news. These criminals are not welcome here.

    • It is not illegal for anyone to get into a small boat and cross the channel. The crossings are not against any law and this has been tested in the courts.

      There are, however, two illegal acts – 1. the criminal smuggling gangs trading on the desperation of the refugees. 2. Anyone landing in the UK and failing to declare themselves to UK authorities. Only those trying to evade detection are illegal immigrants, the rest are legitimate asylum seekers.

  14. The government’s cynical spin on this is that it’s all about saving migrants from people smugglers and drowning, they’ve been rolling out that line in various contexts for ages . I’ve yet to hear one minister or spokesperson voice it convincingly, their acting skills are lousy.
    Do they really want to send migrants to Rwanda? I doubt it, it’s expensive, complex, controversial and risks some extremely embarrassing and politically damaging outcomes and headlines. This is meant to be the mother of all deterrents short of shooting people before they reach our shores.
    I know illegal immigration is a difficult issue too. It’s hard to get the hard facts required to do any sort of reliable economic cost / benefit analysis. But what I do know is that if I was young and had no future, if I was living in fear or poverty, I would seek a better life elsewhere. Trouble is, increasing numbers of UK residents feel the same way but no obvious destination beckons.

    • And the people in dinghys and boats who are mostly young men, are coming here from a safe country, FRANCE.
      This is a small island expected to take in all and sundry.
      These people are entering this country illegally.
      They are the one’s holding up the visa applications for genuine refugees.
      Tony Blair, LABOUR Prime Minister, opened up our borders to all.

  15. When the red Cross supported afgan refugees we listened.
    When the red cross supported Ukrainian refugees we listened.
    When the red cross condemn this unhumane crazy distraction we ignore.
    I find no excuse of a reason for this unkind plan. This situation is not going away. We live in a unfair unkind world. We are responsible for causing mass climate change to vulnerable countries then comsin why people are leaving and wanted to come to this country. We are all immigrants. Bangladesh one million people have had to relocate because of flooding. Solve the problem. We are one world not just one country. Make fair and people might not want to move.

    • We are all aware that we are just ‘one world’ but unfortunately, this small Island cannot take on all the problems of the World.
      The majority of people are kind and have the right to say in a respectful way how they feel on this emotive subject.
      The people coming over from France are leaving a safe country to get here.
      They obviously have the funds to pay the traffickers.
      Many, who were born in this country would love to have such funds, but find themselves struggling to support their families even though they work.
      They would probably like a few days break in a nice hotel publicly funded.

    • Afghanistan: Leader disappeared with all the money, the young men ran away, and the Taliban took over within days.

      Ukraine: Leader remains in war zone, men stay and fight, and (in some places) they’ve turned back The Russians.

      I know which country I’d rather help.

  16. This government encourages hate. Don’t you find it scarey how the brown people are illegal? All of our tax is not going to these poor people. The money is being taken by the elite. These past few weeks have proven that. Sunack is brown but he is part of the elite also.

    • Reply to Kind human.
      What I find is scarey is you on your sanctimonious podium.
      Only you and one other on this thread, somebody called Dave has used the expressions, brown people.
      I am quite sure RIshi Sunak and many others would find YOUR comments RACIST
      Once again said by somebody who hides behind a pseudonym

  17. How do you know I’m not brown? Or white? Or black? Describing this is a must to point out racism! Pretending people are not racist is even worse when your wanting to extradite people from this country. As Micheal Rosen kindly put it on Twitter. What’s next when it becomes difficult to pronounce names? Numbers?

  18. What makes me laugh is people bang on about this being a Christian country yet they treat people in need so poorly. I’m on about everyone in need Refugees, the Homeless, Disabled people and people not having enough to eat due to low wages. How much longer is all this going to carry on. How much longer are people going to keep voting them in, Wake up Boris and his chums were holding parties whilst people died alone in hospitals and at home. Ok so he got a fine and like a good Boris he promptly paid it. You do realise if you paid within 14 days the £200 fine was halved don’t you so all he paid was £100. So many of these refugees can help us as we help them they can work in the NHS and other jobs ect.

  19. Is it not far better to help the indigenous people of this country, by training them for NHS jobs and paying them a decent wage. Getting them out of the benefits system.
    That would also help the benefits system which pays out millions.
    Help is also needed for the homeless. Some young families need proper homes to live in not just grotty rooms.
    In other words helping our own first.
    Is that so wrong?

  20. There are STILL people banging on about “illegal immigrants” crossing “illegally” etc (The government is the worst offender in this)
    There is no such thing as an “illegal immigrant”.
    The problem is that people have to cross the Channel in “unusual ” ways because they might get stopped from boarding a plane or boat because they lack paperwork.
    So it has become virtually impossible. or extremely rare , to be able to just come to Britain and claim asylum. You wouldn’t even get past passport control in the country you are trying to escape from.
    In more typical countries with long land borders but no checks(like much of the EU) a traveller jut moves around and then claims asylum in whichever country they are in.
    Britain has set up these impossible paperwork/visa barriers to movement so that, as I say, it is only likely for someone to travel to Britain by using unconventional methods.
    It would be nice for Ramsgate to attract lots of tourists in swish yachts to pop over the Channel in beautiful weather. Maybe moor up for a few days and make use of all the pubs, restaurants and other attractions we have to offer.
    Are they “illegal immigrants”? Should we seize them and deport them? Or, theoretically, expect them to notify Port authorities of their presence and , if they really, really have to , go about getting a Tourist Visa? For a few days?
    They won’t come back! The Continent has lots of nice places to sail to with no such paranoid restrictions.
    Brexit Britain is really becoming more and more like North Korea, just wanting to be left alone with a deteriorating economy and an increasingly paranoid, repressive government, supported by fearful residents who can’t cope with anyone who might have a slightly different culture to themselves. This is a recipe for slow, painful national decline.

    • Oh for god sake give it a rest you old fool! You ramble on as always with your written diarrhoea. Your comments are totally ridiculous and boring!

      • ‘Demolish Westwood Cross’ ‘ban private cars’ That’s your level of contribution to recent items posted on this news site. Your as removed from reality as is Keefogs!

        • I don’t think so. Cars are so bad for society and the environment that the fewer there are, the better.

          I have looked up “Koevoet”.A murderous group. Great choice of pseudony,. I don’t think!

  21. Koveot, I totally agree with you.
    No other country would let anybody enter without a current passport and in some cases, visas.
    Why these comments are made that it is not illegal to enter this country without said paper work is beyond me.
    We are not part of the EU anymore and to keep blaming everything on it is utterly ridiculous.

  22. The guy’s that arrived adjacent where we were beach fishing, seemed organised enough to discard their safety vests into the sea ans beach their quality rib and it’s decent engine (looked brand new).
    They soon got use to the shingle beach and headed away, they were also very polite to me in good english.

    These guy’s (m&f) seemed to know the route up the beach and in the distance cars could be heard starting up, maybe to take them away.

    Was no border farce or kent cops around. They were further up tyhe beach 2 miles away!

    Tdc could be enabling their port to accept those picked up mid channel and process them locally, was told (pub chat) its somewhat to do with dover not wanting bf trade as it looks bad for their cruise passengers or tug haven is going to be concreted over for motis type use.

    Anyway now the navy has several patrol boats in ramsgate harbour and 2 chartered wind farm vessels.

    My opinion is its absolutely great these migrating guy’s are collecte

    opps losing internet now.

    Right its good bf and the navy collect these uk wannabeas, before their bodies are washed up on our beaches.

  23. Rwanda is just another option at least they have been positive, its all about options.

  24. The asylum seekers are not Illegal. Only the Tories and UKIP call them that as it suits there right wing policies. The Law Courts say they are not illegal. I would rather have them here working for us than sending them to a country with serious human rights problems. We now become an inhumane country by doing this and Australia is just as bad. Perhaps those that want this should go there instead.

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