The UK government will not accept any more migrants claiming to be children under the so-called Dubs Amendment after March 2017.
It was thought the amendment to the Immigration Act 2016, devised by the Labour peer Alfred Dubs, would see around 3,000 unaccompanied minors settled in the UK, with the agreement of local authorities. But the BBC reports it will be terminated after relocating just 350, following a series of high-profile controversies involving supposed “child migrants”.
Individuals among several coachloads of “children” who arrived in the UK from the illegal “Jungle” settlement in Calais appeared to be well over seventeen, with some observed to have deep wrinkles and receding hairlines. The new arrivals were a source of persisting controversy before the Home Office erected screens and scaffolding to conceal them from public view.
According to Home Office figures, in the year to September 2015 roughly two-thirds of “child migrants” whose age claims were disputed turned out to be adults. The Chief Inspector of Borders issued a report in 2013 which indicated that officials only challenge migrants on their ages if they appear to be “at least 25 years old”, however, indicating that the true figure for false claimants could be even higher.
David Davies, MP for Monmouth, has claimed one of his constituents “had a young boy placed with her, or at least he said he was a young boy and actually he was in his twenties, and then he went and carried out a serious assault.
“You have a potential situation here where older people, young men, will be placed into foster homes with families with young children and placed into schools with young children around them.”
Breitbart London reported in January 2017 that the Attorney-General’s Office would not appeal for a stronger prison sentence in the case of a child migrant who was handed a three-year rehabilitation order for raping a five-year-old boy and threatening to “break him into pieces”.
It is reported that Britain is one of only four EU countries which do not use medical checks, such as dental or hand x-rays, to verify the age of migrants claiming to be children.
Lord Dubs, supported by senior Church of England clergymen and pro-immigration charities, condemned the decision to end the scheme which bears his name. He said: “At a time when Donald Trump is banning refugees from America, it would be shameful if the UK followed suit by closing down this route to sanctuary for unaccompanied children just months after it was opened.”
Struggling local authorities have claimed the cost of supporting child migrants under Dubs and complementary schemes, at a time when social care is said to be in crisis, could drive up council tax bills for millions.