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The first flight scheduled to deport asylum seekers from Britain was grounded at the last minute yesterday, after the European Court of Human Rights intervened, citing a risk of harm to migrants on board. The flight was part of a new controversial partnership between the UK and Rwanda, in which migrants from the Middle East, Sudan, and other countries who enter Britain illegally via the English Channel would be sent to the East African nation for asylum-processing.
Under the plan, the UK would provide an initial investment of about $157M to Rwanda. In exchange, Rwanda would offer migrants who are granted asylum housing, healthcare, and support for five years, or until they are self-sufficient. Migrants sent to Rwanda will also be free to return to their homeland, or any other country that will accept them.
Critics have argued the policy is inhumane and question Rwanda’s safety. The UK Supreme Court is set to hold a judicial review in July to decide on the policy’s legality.