Crackdown on migrants who pose as children: Adults who pretend to be under 18 to claim asylum in UK will be reviewed by new specialist unit to assess their age
- Specialist unit to be set up to crack down on adult migrants posing as children
- Social workers will be sent to local authorities to carry out expert assessments
- Priti Patel to back scheme after series of high-profile cases of phonies – including balding man allegedly in his 40s who went to school after claiming to be a minor
- News comes amid soaring numbers of migrant arrivals – with 1,000 so far in June
The farce of adult migrants posing as children is to be tackled in a crackdown by Priti Patel.
A specialist unit is to be set up by the Home Secretary to carry out expert assessments of would-be asylum seekers who claim to be under 18.
It comes after a series of high-profile cases of phonies – including a balding man who appeared to be in his 40s – ending up in school because they said they were minors.
One adult asylum seeker spent six weeks in a Year 11 class before a Home Office investigation revealed he was years older.
Siavash Shah (above), believed to be from Iran, was pictured on social media by a pupil who asked: ‘How’s there a 30-year-old man in our maths class?’
A specialist unit is to be set up by Home Secretary Priti Patel (pictured) to carry out expert assessments of would-be asylum seekers who claim to be under 18
A team of social workers will help local authorities nationwide assess new asylum claims, including those by people who arrive on small boats across the Channel.
It comes amid soaring numbers of arrivals from northern France, with 1,000 so far this month alone.
‘Extra’ 1.6m EU citizens living in UK
At least 1.6 million more Europeans are living in Britain than previously thought, official figures show.
The Home Office revealed yesterday that more than 5.6 million have applied to its EU Settlement Scheme, with all but 4 per cent successful.
An estimate last year by the House of Commons library suggested the number was 3.4 to four million.
The scheme, which closes at the end of the month, allows successful applicants to remain here indefinitely with their pre-Brexit rights.
It is the first to formally count EU nationals living in Britain.
The Border Force intercepted and brought in 179 people making the dangerous crossing on Wednesday and ten yesterday, bringing this month’s total to 1,008.
So far this year the total is just under 4,900, compared with a record 8,410 in the whole of last year.
Migrants who say they are under 18 obtain preferential treatment.
Weeding out false cases will make it more likely that ineligible migrants can be deported, potentially saving the taxpayer millions a year.
A Home Office source said: ‘Age assessment experts will go around the country to help councils which are experiencing problems.
‘Some local authorities are better at carrying out these age assessments than others, and we are going to improve that system considerably with the measures we are introducing.’
The most troubling case of migrants lying about their age was Parsons Green bomber Ahmed Hassan.
He pretended to be 16 and posed as a ‘model asylum seeker’ before setting off a ‘Mother of Satan’ bomb on a London Tube train in 2017, injuring 23 people.
His real age remains unknown, but the judge who jailed the Iraqi for 34 years in 2018 said he was satisfied the bomber was over 18, and probably no older than 21.
The news comes amid soaring numbers of arrivals from northern France, with 1,000 so far this month alone. Pictured: Asylum seekers prepare to land in Dover, Kent on Tuesday, June 8
In 2018 a Home Office investigation found an adult asylum seeker spent six weeks as a Year 11 pupil at Stoke High School in Ipswich.
Siavash Shah, believed to be from Iran, was pictured on social media by a pupil who asked: ‘How’s there a 30-year-old man in our maths class?’
Other examples of apparent deception include a balding male apparently in his 40s who was being taught in a Coventry school.
The unnamed asylum seeker was moved to solo lessons in December last year after parents complained.
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