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Home Secretary confirms “pause” on processing asylum claims


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Having presumably learned from their much criticised mishandling of certain trafficking cases, the government published a statement yesterday stating that they have paused consideration of asylum claims from a certain group. Those affected are people who arrived on or after 1 January 2022 and who received a notice of intent before 29 June 2023 which said that they may be removed to Rwanda. The statement says:

On 15 November 2023, the Supreme Court found that removal of asylum seekers to Rwanda was, based on the evidence reviewed at that time, unlawful. However, the Court recognised that changes could be made in the future to address its findings. In light of this, the Home Secretary has decided to maintain a general pause in the making of inadmissibility decisions in relation to this group at this time whilst work is completed to address the Court’s findings as these individuals remain in scope for inadmissibility action. Pending completion of this work, decisions will only be taken in the event that the Home Secretary considers that there are compelling reasons why this should be necessary in the individual case in question.   

The statement concludes by saying that decision making will resume once the Safety of Rwanda Bill receives Royal Assent, “at which point removals of individuals in this group to Rwanda can take place”. These cases cut across the first two of the new backlogs, and tens of thousands of people will be affected, very few if any of whom will ever be sent to Rwanda.

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Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan is an experienced immigration, asylum and public law solicitor. She has been practising for over ten years and was previously legal director at the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association and legal and policy director at Rainbow Migration. Sonia is the Editor of Free Movement.