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First flight taking Channel migrants to Rwanda set for 14 June

First flight taking Channel migrants to Rwanda set for 14 June
FILE - Migrants picked up at sea while attempting to cross the English Channel,...   -  
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BEN STANSALL/AFP or licensors

United Kingdom

The first batch of UK migrants who cross the English Channel will be transported to Rwanda on June 14, the Home office has announced.

Officials have begun issuing formal directions to the first people set to be flown to the African country.

“Home Office officials are speaking with all individuals to ensure the process is fully understood and people are given the appropriate support ahead of departure.” Home Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement published on the Home office website.

The controversial deal has faced many criticisms from all angles mainly from the UK opposition.

Under the scheme, some asylum seekers who have arrived in the UK are being sent to Rwanda where their applications will be processed.

While their application is considered they will be given accommodation and support and, if successful, they will be able to remain in Rwanda with up to five years' access to education and support.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the partnership with Rwanda was "a key part of our strategy to overhaul the broken asylum system and break the evil people smugglers business model".

More than 4,850 people have crossed the Channel in small boats this year, with more than 3,000 making the dangerous journey in March compared to 831 in the same month last year.

The Home Office has not confirmed how many people will be issued with the removal notices at first, but one official told BBC News all those who will be issued with the directions are currently in asylum detention.

A month ago, there were reports that some of the asylum seekers had gone into hiding for fear of being sent to Rwanda.

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