Asylum seekers in UK ‘hide or flee to Ireland’ for fear of deportation to Rwanda 0

Asylum seekers are going into hiding or fleeing to Ireland as the UK government is proceeding with a plan to detain them for deportation to Rwanda, reports say.

The detentions began a week ago under the controversial Rwanda scheme, with the first deportation flights expected to take off in July.

“Frontline asylum charities report people leaving their asylum accommodation in order to avoid arrest. They are raising the alarm about the increasing risks of destitution and exploitation,” Lou Calvey, the director of the charity Asylum Matters, said.

The Guardian questioned whether the officials had anticipated the asylum seekers’ reaction, citing the growing fallout from the high-profile round-ups that the government is dealing with following the dissemination of its message about detaining people for Rwanda.

It is not clear whether officials had anticipated that some asylum seekers would go into hiding and others would go to Ireland, it said.

According to the report, asylum seekers who have attended regular reporting sessions at centers around the UK have said that they had never seen things so quiet.

“I walked right in and didn’t have to queue at all. In all the years I’ve been reporting I’ve never seen it so deserted,” said one man from Belarus who has been in the UK for more than a decade, but is still fearful the Home Office could detain him even though he isn’t among those identified in the initial cohort of returns.

The initial cohort includes those who illegally arrived between January 2022 and June 2023.

Another asylum seeker, who has received a notice of intent for Rwanda, said he got several calls from friends in his community urging him to go into hiding.

A Syrian refugee also said he was calling on asylum seeker friends at risk of being deported to Rwanda to hide.

“I was an asylum seeker in 2020 when the Home Office was trying to deport as many asylum seekers as possible to European countries they had passed through before Brexit started. Some asylum seekers went into hiding then and I can see that it is happening again because of Rwanda.”

The first week of round-ups saw at least one asylum seeker going on hunger strike and another threatening suicide.

The detentions, however, have not acted as a deterrent for small boat crossings, with 1,420 people crossing in the last seven days up to Sunday.

Meanwhile, Ireland, that removed a tent city of asylum seekers in the heart of Dublin outside the International Protection Accommodation Services center last week, saw the return of tents close to where they were before.

The Irish authorities are expected to provide more accommodation later this week to deal with the unprecedented numbers of asylum seekers, some arriving from the UK.

Critics of the Rwanda scheme say the deportations breach international law.

Source: Presstv