London's controversial plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda will cost nearly 200,000 euros per person, the British government acknowledged on Tuesday.
The Conservative government has made controlling legal and illegal immigration, which was already a Brexit promise, one of its priorities. In particular, he promised to stop the small boats of asylum seekers arriving by the English Channel.
In 2022, more than 45,000 migrants - a record - made this crossing to reach the United Kingdom. They are already more than 11,700 this year to have done so.
The government wants to be able to transfer illegally arrived migrants to third countries like Rwanda, to deter them from coming to the UK. This project is currently being debated in Parliament.
According to estimates by the Ministry of the Interior, the government could spend 169,000 pounds sterling (196,470 euros) for each migrant sent to Rwanda. This includes a payment of £105,000 (€122,120) to the third country, as well as airfare and administrative costs.
But the ministry estimates that over four years, it could save 106,000 pounds sterling (123,290 euros) for each asylum seeker, in particular by saving accommodation costs . Two out of five migrants would have to be deterred from crossing the Channel for the project to be profitable, according to these data.
These figures, which the Interior Ministry says are "very uncertain" , have revived criticism of the government's plan.
"If passed in its current form, the bill would prevent tens of thousands of refugees from accessing the protection to which they are entitled under international law ," criticized Enver Solomon, director of the organization Refugee Council .
“It would cost billions of pounds and would do nothing to solve the current” crisis in the asylum system, he added.
The plan to send migrants to Rwanda was announced last year by Boris Johnson , when he was prime minister. But it had been blocked at the last minute by a decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
It is still blocked by legal action. Judges must also render a decision Thursday on a new appeal.