To garner votes in the 2024 general election, the British government is pushing forward with its Rwanda asylum plan, which would deport illegal migrants to the African nation, where their asylum claims would be considered. Undeterred, thousands of migrants continue to risk their lives by traveling through dangerous routes run by human traffickers to reach the U.K. and seek asylum.
While most media coverage has focused on the legal implications and political debate around the controversial policy, this project focuses on asking migrants in Calais, France, what they think about the prospect of beginning a new life in Rwanda. After interviewing migrants in Calais, Monica Montero traveled to England to interview them again once they had managed to cross the English Channel.
She also spoke with several NGOs and activists, both in Calais and in England, as well as with human rights experts based in Rwanda and neighboring Uganda.
Despite the supreme court ruling on November 15, 2023, that the Rwanda scheme was illegal, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has vowed to push new legislation and revisit domestic legal frameworks and international conventions that currently prevent deportation flights to Kigali, Rwanda.