The Danish government has revealed that of the suspected 800 “underage” asylum seekers they believed to be lying about their age, 600 of them were adults according to medical tests.
The Danish Immigration Service (Udlændingestyrelsen – DIS) has suspected hundreds of “underage” migrants over the past year have been lying about their age in order to get preferential treatment and other benefits from the Danish government.
The DIS was granted the ability to use medical tests to assert the real age of those suspected of lying and have said that at least 600, or three quarters of the migrants, were found to be adults, Jyllands-Posten reports.
Doctors at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Copenhagen were tasked by the DIS to find out the true age of those suspected of being adults, using X-rays of finger bones and dental imprints. The 800 tested by the institute is double that of last year, with authorities projecting that the number could increase to over 1,000 by the end of this year.
Integration Minister Inger Støjberg defended the results saying that the Danish asylum system is working properly when it is able to out migrants trying to get special benefits by lying about their age. “The Danish Immigration Service makes a major effort to expose those who are cheating and is also working on how it can happen even faster,” she said.
Anti-mass migration Danish People’s Party’s immigration spokesman Martin Henriksen said, “they have scammed their way into a residence and benefits that they are not entitled to.” He stated there should be mandatory testing of all migrants who claim to be underage unless they are obviously a small child.
Eva Singer of the Danish Refugee Council rejected the idea that many migrants were trying to cheat the system saying that the migrants probably didn’t know how old they actually were because she said their home countries don’t keep track of their age in the same way Denmark does.
Denmark has some of the toughest asylum laws in the European Union including confiscating the valuables of migrants if they are worth more than €1,340. The law was put into practice this year and the government claims to have already collected tens of thousands of euros to offset the costs of housing and taking care of the migrants.
Neighbouring Sweden has also had a problem with migrants claiming to be underage, especially those who have committed crimes. One Somali migrant, who claimed to be underage, was responsible for the murder of an asylum home worker. He was going to be tried as a minor until the government discovered he was over the age of 18.