The number of asylum seekers due to be removed from the United Kingdom (UK) on the first deportation flight to Rwanda is close to single figures, sources say.
The Court of Appeal is set to decide later whether to allow the home office flight to depart on Tuesday.
Campaigners and migrants last week failed to win an injunction against the government policy in the High Court.
But it is thought the number facing being deported to Rwanda’s capital Kigali is falling rapidly.
A home office source told the BBC that, of the original 37 scheduled to fly to the east African nation, legal challenges relating to modern slavery and human rights claims have drastically reduced that number.
And BBC home editor Mark Easton says it is expected that could be “whittled down to zero” before the plane is due to take off.
The UK says sending some asylum seekers who arrive illegally in the UK to Rwanda will deter arrivals, and therefore undermine smuggling gangs.
Rwanda’s high commissioner to the UK, Johnston Busingye, told the Daily Telegraph his country would be a “safe haven” for migrants.—BBC