LONDON. – Britain will send migrants and asylum-seekers who cross the Channel thousands of miles away to Rwanda under a controversial deal announced Thursday as the government tries to clamp down on record numbers of people making the perilous journey.
“From today… anyone entering the UK illegally as well as those who have arrived illegally since January 1 may now be relocated to Rwanda,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a speech near Dover in southeastern England.
“Rwanda will have the capacity to resettle tens of thousands of people in the years ahead,” Johnson said.
He called the East African nation “one of the safest countries in the world, globally recognised for its record of welcoming and integrating migrants.”
Concerns over immigration were a big factor in the 2016 Brexit vote, and Johnson has been under pressure to deliver on his promise to “take back control” of Britain’s borders..
“The deal we have done is uncapped and Rwanda will have the capacity to resettle tens of thousands of people in the years ahead,” he said.