The Pros and Cons of Priti Patel's plans to send asylum seekers to Rwanda
The first batch of asylum seekers to be sent to Rwanda are due to fly out next Tuesday. There are likely to be delays, possibly indefinitely, as lawyers challenge the legality of the government’s plans to send those who arrive by boat offshore to Rwanda, with no right to claim asylum in the UK. In this first edition of ‘The Why? Curve’ Roger Hearing says the question of legality is one issue – there’s also the question of whether it’s ethical, and whether it’ll work. Phil Dobbie says the Australian experience of offshoring hasn’t been the success many are suggesting, whilst Mr Alp Mehmet, chair of Migration Watch UK, says something has to be done and it’s one part of a larger package of measures needed to dissuade people from risking their lives crossing the channel from France. Perhaps the ultimate questions is, if it isn’t going to work, if if it isn’t going to stop people smugglers ferrying asylum seekers across the Channel, why do it?
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Chair of Migration Watch UK
Alp Mehmet arrived in the United Kingdom from Cyprus in 1956, aged eight. He was educated at Parmiter's School near London, and at Bristol Polytechnic (now the University of the West of England). On graduation from Bristol, he became an immigration officer (1970–79) and then an entry clearance officer in Lagos, Nigeria (1979–83). In 1983, he entered the Diplomatic Service, serving in Romania, Germany and Iceland (twice) and leaving in 2008. When he was appointed as Ambassador to Iceland in 2004, he became one of the first two British ambassadors from ethnic minority backgrounds to be appointed (the other being Anwar Choudhury, who was appointed High Commissioner to Bangladesh). He became Chairman of MigrationWatch UK in July 2019.