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Migrants arrive in Dover as new UK government scraps Rwanda deportation plan

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, from a Border Force vessel following a small boat incident in the Channel, Monday July 8, 2024.   -  
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Gareth Fuller/AP


Migrants crossing the English Channel arrived at the port in Dover, southeast England, on Monday. British broadcaster Sky News aired footage of the migrants, marking the first arrivals since the new government took office on Friday.

On Saturday, British Prime Minister Keir Starmer announced the cancellation of his predecessor's controversial policy to deport asylum-seekers to Rwanda.

The policy, intended to deter dangerous Channel crossings by threatening deportation to East Africa, had already cost the government hundreds of millions of dollars without ever being implemented.

Starmer criticized the Rwanda plan as a “gimmick” but has not yet outlined a new strategy, despite record numbers of migrants arriving in the first half of the year. Human rights activists and migrants' groups have condemned the policy as unethical and inhumane.

The U.K.'s deal with Rwanda, struck in April 2022, aimed to process and settle migrants in the East African country if their asylum claims were successful. The agreement was designed to discourage risky journeys to the U.K.

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