On the 29th of June, Court of Appeal judges ruled that it is unlawful to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, and Rwanda cannot be treated as a safe third country.
The scheme of sending refugees to Rwanda was announced by the Tory government in April 2002. The government claims that the plan will deter people from arriving in the UK through “illegal, dangerous methods,” such as on small boats that cross the English Channel.
As Braveman stated, they would be swiftly deported to Rwanda on a one-way ticket. This scheme has been unpopular from the start, and there has also been criticism from human rights activists and refugee campaigners that it is inhumane.
Various protests took place across the UK to stop this scheme. Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights Campaign also organised a protest against the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda.
The deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda is part of the government’s hostile and racist immigration policies. Asylum seekers who make a dangerous journey to reach the UK in search of safety and comfort will face hostile treatment and deportation.
The protests succeeded in stopping the first flight to Rwanda, but the government pushed ahead and organised another flight. The current Tory government is hell-bent on vilifying asylum seekers who flee war and the most dangerous places, while welcoming rich criminals from all over the world.
The government cannot be trusted to offer a safe and prosperous future for anyone except millionaires and billionaires. This government’s plan to stop small boats is yet another attempt to blame migrants for the problems and crises caused by their policies. The capitalists use divisive policies as a tool to divide workers and also to blame them for the economic crisis. It is the capitalists and their policies that should be blamed, not the refugees. The government is more interested in spending money on this scheme than investing in jobs, homes, and services that are desperately needed.
The Rwanda scheme has already cost taxpayers £140 million, even though nobody has been sent to Rwanda yet. It is also estimated that it will cost an additional £169,000 to send each person to Rwanda. There is an industry of vulture capitalists who are private owners of various parts of this project, aiming to pocket a huge amount of taxpayers’ money.
Suella Braverman’s response to the Court ruling was that she was disappointed by the ruling, and she would do “whatever it takes to stop the boats.”.
Rishi Sunak is promising to appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
In the recent Greek boat disaster, the “horrific tragedy” claimed the lives of 78 individuals, including women and children. Additionally, a staggering number of 500 people are still missing from a migrant boat. It’s not just this incident; there are also many migrants struggling to reach a safe place to seek asylum, and nobody wants to see people risking their lives in dangerous channel crossings. However, they do so because they have nothing to lose. These are victims of capitalist war, poverty, and misery. The mainstream media, which supports this horrific war, does not report the real reasons why these refugees are forced to flee and embark on such life-threatening journeys. At the same time, these media outlets have given ample airtime to millionaires who dive deep into the sea to explore the Titanic. While their deaths are tragic, so is the loss of life experienced by hundreds of refugees who continue to perish at sea, primarily due to negligence.
The struggles faced by immigrant workers and refugees can be intertwined with those of other workers. Such integration holds great potential for organising a united struggle to improve life for everyone. Unions must make an effort to incorporate all migrant workers and stand firm for their right to stay and work, while simultaneously taking strong actions to defend the services for all workers.
It’s not enough to say “Refugees welcome here” without standing firm for all workers’ right to have decent access to essential services. There is a massive housing crisis in the UK that the Tory government refuses to address. At the same time, there are as many as 500,000 homes in the UK that are simply left empty by the rich. These houses could be utilised to accommodate many essential workers who are currently suffering without adequate accommodations. Numerous measures can be taken to address this problem. Why can’t this government provide houses for everyone? Why can’t they enforce quality controls for private landlords and help establish democratic rent caps in the private sector?
We call for mass investment into jobs, homes, and services for all. We must ensure that the wealth, major industries, and banks are no longer controlled solely by the super-rich but rather distributed democratically to address the needs of all.