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Newly released official documents show that out of the 5,000 individuals identified for deportation, only 700 are still in “regular contact” with the Home Office. Insiders from the Home Office have reportedly acknowledged the department’s “limited capability” in locating migrants once they have left state-funded accommodation.

The official risk register highlights that the top challenge is the Home Office’s struggle to locate or detain enough migrants and the legal challenges faced when attempting to launch deportation flights to Rwanda. This poses a risk of leaving officials without anyone to deport.

Potential obstacles mentioned in the documents include difficulties transferring migrants from removal centers to the airfield, with protests, adverse weather conditions, or commercial contractors refusing to undertake the work. The consideration of military planes as a backup plan faces resistance from the military, according to reports from the Telegraph.

The documents also outline the possibility of Rwanda not being prepared to receive new arrivals if the deportation scheme proceeds, potentially resulting in migrants being sent back to the UK.

The UK government has claimed to have worked extensively with Rwanda in recent months to enhance its capacity to process asylum seekers. Home Office experts have reportedly assisted in training Rwandan counterparts, judges, and lawyers.

A treaty signed last year addresses concerns raised by the Supreme Court about sending migrants to Kigali. The treaty includes provisions preventing deported individuals from being sent to any country other than the UK.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper criticized the situation, stating that it is evidence of “Tory chaos on asylum and immigration.” She raised concerns about the costly and failing Rwanda plan, highlighting the financial burden on taxpayers. Cooper called for a shift in focus toward tackling criminal smuggling gangs and speeding up removals by recruiting additional staff for a new fast-track returns unit, proposing an alternative approach to the Conservative government’s strategy.

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