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30,000 migrants due to be sent to Rwanda are on bail


More than 30,000 illegal migrants due to be sent to Rwanda are on bail while the deportation flights are grounded despite fears they may abscond, the Home Office has said.

These 33,085 entered Britain through methods such as small boat crossings over the channel and so cannot claim asylum in the UK under the Illegal Migration Act which has been enforced from July last year.

The Act means ministers have the power to deport these people to their home or a safe third country if they will not face persecution or torture there.

Home Office director general for migration and borders Dan Hobbs told MPs that the 'vast majority' of these some 33,000 migrants had been bailed from detention centres as there was no safe country to send them to, a no deportation flights from Rwanda have set off.

Migrants cannot be detained unless there is a realistic prospect they will be deported within a reasonable time frame of if they have a criminal record, according to Home Office rules.

The Home Affairs committee was told by Mr Hobbs that these asylum seekers could be homed in accommodation such as hotels, where they will be free to leave, but they are supposed to report to officials.

This reporting scheme could either be face-to-face, via telephone, or over email, he said, The Telegraph reports.

Migrants are continuing to arrive at the port of Dover with more than 1,000 crossing the Channel already in 2024.

The latest arrivals come as the Home Secretary says the number of asylum seekers being removed to Rwanda under Rishi Sunak's £240 million scheme could be 'quite low'.

James Cleverly told MPs on Wednesday he was unable to say how many of the 33,085 people identified as potentially eligible would be sent to Kigali if flights get off the ground.

So far, the UK has paid Rwanda £240 million under the Prime Minister's plan to 'stop the boats', but ministers expect to pay an additional £50 million next year.

No migrants who make unauthorised crossings have been removed because of the legal challenges that resulted in the Supreme Court finding the scheme unlawful.