They are understood to include several men who arrived in the UK recently after crossing the Channel in small boats. But ministers are braced for the deportations to be held up by legal action. A Whitehall source told the Daily Express: “We are cracking ahead with this policy. The first asylum seekers we expect to deport to Rwanda will be notified this week.”
A Home Office spokeswoman declined to comment on the scheme. She said: “We don’t discuss operational matters.”
The move comes after the Home Secretary agreed a deal with the Rwandan government for migrants suspected of crossing the Channel for economic reasons to be resettled in the East African state.
UK taxpayers will pay £120million to fund the scheme.
Ms Patel struck the deal following concerns about the growing numbers of migrants making the dangerous crossing to the UK over the Channel.
Analysis of Government figures showed 7,240 people had reached the UK after navigating busy shipping lanes from France in small boats this year.
But the scheme has provoked criticism from opposition MPs, refugee support organisations and anti-deportation activists.
On Friday evening, demonstrators disrupted a speech by the Home Secretary at a Tory party dinner.
Eight young social justice and climate campaigners from the Green New Deal Rising campaign disrupted the Bassetlaw Conservative Association Spring Dinner.
They demanded she drop the plans.
Boris Johnson has warned that “liberal Left lawyers” are preparing legal action to try to block the scheme.
Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab yesterday promised “commonsense” measures to make it easier to deport foreign offenders as part of a shake-up of human rights laws to be announced in tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech to Parliament.
The Justice Secretary accused some lawyers of taking advantage of the Human Rights Act and said there had been “elastic interpretations” of the law in the courts which had prevented criminals being sent back to their home countries.
Reforming the Human Rights Act was promised in the 2019 Tory manifesto and the measures are likely to feature in the Queen’s Speech.
He told LBC Radio that some lawyers did seek to take advantage of the existing human rights framework.
“I’m proud that we’ve got a world leading, world beating, legal services profession.
“I’m proud that we’ve got a judiciary that’s the envy of the world over,” he said.
“But equally, there will always be those that will take advantage.
“But the truth is, the job is on us, the responsibility is on us, and we take that very seriously, to correct the systemic problems.
“Which is why we’re going to replace the Human Rights Act with a Bill of Rights so we’ve got less shifting of the goalposts, less elastic interpretations of human rights, which I think the public finds frustrating in the context of deporting foreign national offenders.”