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Archbishop says UK plan for Rwanda migrants goes against God


The Anglican church leader has strongly criticized the British government’s plan to put some asylum seekers on one-way flights to Rwanda

He said that “outsourcing our responsibilities, even to a country that seeks to do well, like Rwanda, is against the nature of God who himself has taken responsibility for our failures.”

Speaking at Canterbury Cathedral in south east England, Welby said while ‘details are for politics and politicians, principle must stand up to the judgment of God – and it cannot “.

Britain and Rwanda announced on Thursday they have reached a deal that will see some people arrive in the UK as stowaways on trucks or in small boats sent 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometres) to the East African country, where their asylum applications will be processed and, if successful, they will stay.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government said the plan would discourage people from making dangerous attempts to cross the Channel and bankrupt smuggling gangs using the treacherous route. More than 28,000 migrants entered the UK across the Channel last year, up from 8,500 in 2020. Dozens died, including 27 people in November when a single boat capsized.

Refugee and human rights groups called the plan inhumane, unenforceable and a waste of taxpayers’ money. The UN Refugee Agency said it was “contrary to the letter and spirit of the Refugee Convention”.

The deal – for which the UK paid Rwanda 120 million pounds ($158 million) up front – leaves many questions unanswered, including its final cost and how participants will be chosen. The UK says children and families with children will not be sent to Rwanda.

Senior officials in the Home Office, the government department responsible for immigration policy, raised concerns about the policy but were dismissed by Home Secretary Priti Patel.

The Home Office said in a statement that Britain had settled hundreds of thousands of refugees from around the world.

“However, the world is facing a global migration crisis of unprecedented scale and change is needed to stop despicable smugglers from putting people’s lives at risk and to fix the broken global asylum system,” he said. he declared.

Alf Dubs, a Labor Party member of the House of Lords who came to Britain as a child refugee from the Nazis in 1939, said the plan was likely “a breach of the 1951 Geneva Refugee Conventions “. He said the Lords, the upper house of Parliament, would challenge the decision.

Johnson acknowledged on Thursday that the plan would likely be challenged in court by what he called “politically motivated lawyers” to “frustrate the government.”

Political opponents accuse Johnson of using headline politics to distract from his political issues. Johnson is resisting calls to step down after he was fined by police for attending a party at his office in 2020 that broke coronavirus lockdown rules.

ABC News

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