The High Court will today hear arguments over whether to grant a last-minute injunction stopping the first flight of asylum seekers scheduled for next week to Rwanda.
Two campaign groups – Detention Action and Care4Calais – join Union PCS and four individual asylum seekers to take legal action.
The Interior Ministry announced that the the first asylum seekers will be sent to Rwanda on Tuesday under its new immigration policy.
Lawyers for the groups taking the action will argue that the policy puts people’s lives at risk and is an illegal way to deal with asylum seekers before they are deported and once sent to Rwanda.
The groups taking the action have demanded that if a decision is in their favour, the plane be stopped altogether – so that the decision does not only apply to the asylum seekers they represent.
Sky News is aware of other asylum seekers who have received removal notices who are not part of these proceedings.
With days to go, a decision is expected to be issued the same day as the hearing.
Care4Calais say they are aware of the Afghans’ ninth round; 35 Sudanese; 18 Syrians; 14 Iranians; 11 Egyptians as well as Iraqis, Pakistanis, Albanians, Algerians, Chadians, Eritreans, Turks and Vietnamese who were told they could be put on the first flight.
“We hope the courts will agree with us”
Clare Moseley, Founder of Care4Calais, said: “We spoke to almost 100 people in detention who were told they would be forcibly sent to Rwanda. Almost all are overwhelmed with shock and despair.
“Many came to the UK thinking it was a good place that would treat them more fairly than the places they escaped from. We say the Rwandan plan is illegal. deal with us.”
Efforts to obtain an injunction are an eleventh-hour attempt by activists to stop the theft.
Care4Calais, Detention Action and the PCS union have already launched a judicial review procedure and want the legality of the policy to be tested in court.
Why are migrants sent to Rwanda and how will it work?
Asylum seekers “ready to hide” to avoid the Rwandan plan
Interior Ministry says it wants to end the trade of smugglers carrying people across the Channel and sending asylum seekers to Rwanda is part of efforts to ‘overhaul’ the Kingdom’s ‘broken’ system -United.
The government says it is committed to working with Rwanda to provide safety to those seeking asylum and those recognized as refugees will have the opportunity to rebuild their lives.
Anyone the Home Office considers to have made an unsafe, unnecessary or illegal journey to the UK would meet the criteria for deportation, with the exception of unaccompanied migrant children who are exempt.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We remain confident in our position. If the legal challenges force us to go to court, we will argue the case.
“It is true to say that the first flight is scheduled for next week, so we have it ready to go.”