The Government Could Deport Children To Rwanda, Says Immigration Minister

Children could be deported to Rwanda under government plans to deter migrants coming to Britain, the immigration minister has admitted.

Robert Jenrick said on Wednesday that not to do so could make the UK a ”magnet” for people traffickers.

Britain signed an agreement with Rwanda last year to send asylum seekers to Rwanda to have their claims processed.

Appearing at the women and equalities committee, Jenrick said no children who arrived in the UK unaccompanied by an adult would be sent to Rwanda.

But asked if children who arrived as part of a family group would be, he said: “As we operationalise the Rwanda policy we will need to consider whether or not we would remove families.

“The balance we would need to consider is obviously the challenge of minors leaving the country to Rwanda against the risk that the UK then became magnet for people traffickers focusing on families.”

Pressed if that meant “yes” the government was considering it, Jenrick said the Home Office “haven’t come to a firm conclusion” yet.

But indicating it was a likely outcome, he added: “We would not replace a trade in adult males with a trade in families.”

Last year the government reach and agreement with Rwanda for it to receive migrants deemed by the UK to have arrived “illegally”.

The controversial policy is due to be challenged by charity Asylum Aid and a number of individuals in the Court of Appeal after it was ruled legal by the High Court.

It has so far cost the British taxpayer £140m - even though no asylum seekers have actually yet been sent to Rwanda.

The first deportation flight – due to take off on June 14 – was then grounded amid a series of objections against individual removals and the policy as a whole.

Labour has branded the Rwanda plan “unworkable” and “unethical” as well “extortionately expensive”.

While the Lib Dems said it was “immoral” and accused the government of “betraying the UK’s proud tradition of providing sanctuary to refugees fleeing war”.