An Afghan who is seeking asylum in Britain has said that his friends are going to Ireland to avoid being sent to Rwanda as part of the British government’s new policy to deal with illegal migration.
The 18-year-old told inews that “my friends have fled to Ireland to escape the UK’s Rwanda asylum plan”, referring to the controversial policy where migrants who arrive in the UK illegally are sent to the East African state while their application for asylum is being considered.
“Since they announced [the Rwanda scheme} some of my friends have escaped to the Republic of Ireland,” he said. “They asked me if I wanted to go but I didn’t have money. If I did, maybe I would escape too because I feel worried.”
The number of non-Ukrainians now arriving in Ireland claiming to be seeking asylum has shot up in recent months. There have been 3,343 applications for asylum to the end of April in this country – already more than the annual total of 2,649 in 2021.
The 18-year-old, nicknamed Taraki, said that he had endured a traumatic two-year journey to get to Britain after his family were shot dead in a suspected Taliban attack.
“I am worried,” he said. “From Afghanistan to here took two years. I saw many hard things on the way here. Some of my friends died. Sometimes we didn’t eat for two or three days.
Faced with rising numbers of illegal immigrants, the British government sought to deter Channel migrants by deporting them to Rwanda.
A Home Office spokesperson told inews : “Asylum seekers have access to health and social care services from the point of arrival in the UK. We take every step to prevent self-harm or suicide, including a dedicated team responsible for identifying vulnerable asylum seekers and providing tailored support.
“However, Britain’s asylum system is broken, as criminals exploit vulnerable people through illegal smuggling routes at a huge cost to the taxpayer.
“Under our world-leading migration partnership with Rwanda, a fundamentally safe and secure country, illegal migrants will be relocated to Rwanda to have their claims for asylum considered- helping to break the people trafficking business and save lives.”
The Irish government, in contrast, has decided to amnesty illegal immigrants who have been in the country for some time. It also announced plans, not just to scrap the direct provision system. but to fast-tracking illegal immigrants into public housing – with own-door accommodation after four months and the right to work after six months.