(Bloomberg) --

A senior UK minister defended the government’s proposed plan of relocating some asylum seekers to Rwanda, adding that it’d “get cracking straight away” once court challenges were resolved. 

Rwanda is a “perfectly safe and secure place for people to go,” Cabinet Office Secretary Oliver Dowden told Sky News on Sunday. He said that the policy is required to effectively deter the growing number of migrants trying to enter the UK from France by crossing the English Channel in small boats. 

Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who visited Rwanda this weekend, said the country is “clearly ready” to start receiving asylum seekers by the summer, according to the Telegraph. Reporters from organizations perceived as right-leaning, including GB News, the Daily Mail and the Telegraph, were invited to accompany Braverman, while the BBC, Sky News, and the Guardian, among others, weren’t. That’s led some critics to accuse the government of bias.

“I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities for the BBC and for Sky to scrutinize the home secretary about it,” Cabinet Office Secretary Oliver Dowden told Sky News on Sunday. He added that the logistics of the trip were a matter for the home secretary’s staff.

The government has faced claims from human rights groups that its plan to fly asylum seekers arriving in Britain some 4,000 miles (6,447 kilometers) to the African nation to be processed according to Rwandan laws is inhumane. The UK has already given £120 million ($146 million) in funding to Rwanda, according to a December research report from the House of Commons library. No one has yet been deported under the scheme.

Read more: UK’s Rwanda Asylum Seeker Policy Is Lawful, Judges Rule

More than 45,000 migrants crossed the Channel in small vessels last year, heightening concerns around human trafficking. “We have to do this to restore control to our migration system,” Dowden said.

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