Deportation of Channel migrants thrown into doubt as activists launch bid to halt removal operation

Lawyers bid to ground first Rwanda flight: Channel migrant deportation is thrown into doubt as Left-wing activists attempt to force judicial review of entire policy – but Zambia comes forward as second African nation willing to host processing centre

Charities and trade union applied for an injunction to halt Tuesday’s operationThe legal tactics likely to lead to the flight being postponed pending resolutionThe moves highlight the scale of opposition to the Home Secretary’s plan Home Office insiders admitted chances of the first flight taking off were ‘slim’ Comes as Zambia understood to be ‘potentially interested’ in similar agreement

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Priti Patel’s first migrants flight to Rwanda was in doubt last night after legal actions were lodged against it.

A coalition of charities and a trade union that represents Border Force staff has applied for an injunction to halt Tuesday’s operation. They are also seeking a judicial review of the policy.

The legal tactics, plus a raft of appeals lodged on behalf of individual migrants, are likely to lead to the flight being postponed pending resolution of the issues in court.

The moves highlight the scale of opposition to the Home Secretary’s plan, which she claims will save lives in the Channel and cripple the profits of people-smuggling gangs.

It comes as migrants arriving in Dover could soon be transported to Zambia after the country ‘expressed an interest’ in the Rwanda scheme.

Zambia is understood to be ‘potentially interested’ in signing a similar agreement with the Government, bit is holding off to see how the scheme works in Rwanda.

A source told The Telegraph: ‘There are one or two countries, like Zambia, who are potentially interested. 

‘They will wait and see what happens in Rwanda before deciding whether it is worthwhile and the political ramifications of it.

But Home Office insiders admitted last night that the chances of the first flight to Rwanda taking off as planned were now ‘slim’.

Priti Patel’s first migrants flight to Rwanda was in doubt last night after legal actions were lodged against it

The legal tactics, plus a raft of appeals lodged on behalf of individual migrants, are likely to lead to the flight being postponed pending resolution of the issues in court

‘There is still a chance, albeit a low chance, that it will happen,’ one source said. ‘It’s still on until a judge says otherwise.’

A Tory source added: ‘It’s no surprise that Labour-supporting organisations and the civil service union are funding legal campaigns to try to cancel the first removal flight. 

‘They opposed the ending of free movement, and now they want to throw open our nation’s borders entirely.

‘They have no alternative to stop these deadly Channel crossings and it’s a shame to see members of the Labour Party standing with them.’

The injunction application is expected to be heard tomorrow

A charter plane has been booked to head from an undisclosed UK airport to the Rwandan capital of Kigali on Tuesday carrying 130 migrants who have been told they face removal.

But the Daily Mail reported yesterday that more than half those due to be on the flight had already lodged individual legal challenges in attempts to stay in Britain. 

By last night at least 90 appeals had been submitted, with the remaining 40 imminent.

A worker is seen at the Desir Resort Hotel prepared to host asylum seekers sent to Rwanda from Britain, in Kagugu location of Kigali, Rwanda

Most of the individual claims involve allegations of modern slavery or rely on the right to ‘private and family life’ under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Miss Patel has instructed government lawyers to work ‘round the clock’ to defeat the appeals.

The High Court action has been launched by the Public and Commercial Services union alongside the charities Care 4 Calais and Detention Action. 

One of the legal grounds given in the claim is Miss Patel’s ‘failure to make provision for malaria prevention in Rwanda’.

The application also claims it is ‘irrational’ for the Home Office to describe Rwanda as a ‘generally safe’ country and that removing asylum seekers there would breach the Geneva Convention and the ECHR.

Mark Serwotka, of the PCS union said: ‘It appears the Government has learned nothing from the Windrush scandal, among others. PCS is not prepared to countenance our members being put in potentially dangerous and traumatic situations, where they may be asked to act illegally.’

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel following a small boat incident in the Channel on June 7

James Wilson, deputy director of Detention Action, said: ‘Priti Patel is turning a blind eye to the many clear dangers and human rights violations that it would inflict on people seeking asylum.’

Bella Sankey, the charity’s director, was a Labour candidate in the 2019 election. On her campaign leaflet, party leader Sir Keir Starmer hailed her as ‘a woman of principle and integrity’ with a ‘strong track record of successful campaigns for justice’.

A Labour source rejected claims of involvement in the High Court case, saying: ‘As the Government well knows, Labour is not involved. This is desperate lashing-out for a party that’s in chaos.’ 

The £120million asylum deal was signed by Miss Patel and Rwandan foreign affairs minister Dr Vincent Biruta in April. 

It will see ‘irregular migrants’ – such as those who arrived by small boat or in the back of a lorry – handed a one-way ticket to Kigali. They will claim asylum there instead of in Britain, with a support package from UK taxpayers.

Zambia was last night reported by the Daily Telegraph to be a potential extra destination for Channel migrants under an expansion of Miss Patel’s policy.

 Prior to the Rwanda agreement, the Government was in discussions with Albania and Ghana to take UK migrants.

But disclosure of the talks led to both nations withdrawing amid fears of public anger.

Home Office minister Tom Pursglove last month admitted that the Rwanda agreement was unlikely to be the ‘last of those sorts of agreements that are reached involving countries around the world’.

And UN high commissioner Filippo Grandi praised Zambia’s ‘progressive’ approach and generosity towards refugees in 2019.

The number of asylum-seekers to have arrived from northern France so far this year has surged to 10,020, more than double the level at the same point last year.

So-called ‘human rights’ activists are putting lives of migrants at risk… Our immigration policy has once again been turned over to organised criminals, writes DR RAKIB EHSAN

By David Barrett and Sam Greenhill for The Daily Mail 

The wilful determination of Leftist campaigners to wreck every attempt at solving the immigration crisis is beyond frustrating. It is tragic – and deadly.

By fighting the Government at every step, these self-righteous and sneering so-called human rights activists put the lives of the most vulnerable at risk.

Now their knee-jerk opposition to whatever Home Secretary Priti Patel proposes appears to have halted plans to fly 130 migrants to Rwanda, where they were to live while their asylum claims were processed.

Thanks to the Left, immigration policy has once again been turned over to organised criminals. It reverts to the survival of the fittest: a cruel system that prioritises young men strong enough to withstand a dangerous trip across the Channel in an overloaded inflatable – and it enriches vile people-smugglers.

Public confidence in the asylum system is non-existent. Illegal immigration is putting a heavy strain on social cohesion across Britain, especially in deprived inner-city areas and post-industrial towns. Anti-terrorist policing becomes almost impossible when the security services have no way of knowing who is entering Britain, or where from. Background checks are minimal.

A group of people thought to be migrants are brought in to Dover, Kent, onboard a Border Force vessel following a small boat incident in the Channel on Tuesday

Home Secretary Priti Patel listens as Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses his Cabinet on Tuesday. She sits between Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove  and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay

The ability of an independent country to control its borders is one of the basic benchmarks of a functioning Government. But self-serving liberals, particularly in the legal profession, do their level best to thwart this.

When the Home Office announced its partnership with Rwanda I applauded it as innovative and pragmatic. The reaction of the Left was depressing and predictable. They betray a deep and racist bigotry, dismissing Rwanda as a barely civilised backwater.

In fact, Rwanda is an international success story, for the way it has rebuilt itself since the genocidal civil war of the mid-1990s. It has one of the most pro-female political systems in Africa, ensuring that women are strongly represented at every level of Government.

I would love to see Britain working more closely with Rwanda, to boost trade and security for our nations. Yet the announcement of our asylum partnership brought disgraceful howls of protest from middle-class liberals who are oblivious to their own prejudices.

The self-appointed ‘human rights defenders’ painted this Commonwealth country as a post-apocalyptic hellhole, ignoring all its hard-won social and economic progress since 1994. Farcically, one of the grounds of the legal challenge is ‘failure to make provision for malaria prevention in Rwanda’. It’s as if the entire country is a disease-ridden swamp rather than a vibrant modern country.

Comparisons between asylum procedures and the 18th century slave trade have been bandied about, as ignorant as they were obscene.

The truth is that genuine, modern-day slavery is encouraged by the people who work so doggedly to undermine the immigration system. By enabling people traffickers to continue ferrying illegal migrants into Britain, by sea or crammed into airless compartments in freight lorries, they are feeding a brutal market.

In brothels, factories, nail bars and many other premises, often in the poorest neighbourhoods across this country, illegal workers are denied pay or passports. They are prisoners of their gangmasters.

The number of migrants (pictured Tuesday) arriving in the UK this year after crossing the English Channel in small boats is expected to exceed 10,000.

Free to operate within the UK and without realistic threat of punishment, people-traffickers enjoy carte blanche to make as much money as possible by charging extortionate fees to migrants – often with false promises that, once here, they will be able to exploit the benefits system. That is the reality of our dysfunctional asylum system. It is one of the most urgent problems facing the Government, compounded by the attitude of our Border Force – which doesn’t appear to have much belief in secure borders and national sovereignty.

British people are generous and welcoming when it comes to rehoming the persecuted. The outpouring of money and gifts from Daily Mail readers to organisations supporting Ukrainian refugees, including £11million donated to the Mail Force charity, is ample proof of that.

That generosity is mocked by Leftists who promote the cases of the least vulnerable migrants at the expense of those whose lives are really at risk.

Too often it is women and children, especially girls, who are oppressed by fundamentalist regimes. They are the least able, both physically and financially, to seek asylum via people smugglers.

It is these women and girls who pay the real price of the Left. For all their noisy virtue signalling, these smug anti-Tory obsessives have no genuine interest in helping anyone. They just want to cause maximum disruption. Once again, it looks like they have succeeded.

Dr Rakib Ehsan is a community relations expert. 

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