Adults Posing as Child Refugees Deprive Vulnerable British Children of Care

'Child' Calais Migrants UK
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Vulnerable children in Britain are being deprived of care because resources are being assigned to adult migrants posing as child refugees.

After interviewing 10 west London foster parents for a report on children in care, Spectator correspondent Harriet Sergeant was “startled” to discover that “only one of the sets of parents was looking after the sort of vulnerable children you imagine to be in the care system”.

The remainder were looking after supposed child refugees — and three of them said their charges appeared to be men passing themselves off as teenage boys.

“The first thing they ask for is a razor,” said one foster parent Ms. Sergeant spoke to. “They’ve got these big beards.”

Another fosterer the Spectator correspondent spoke to said she found it “embarrassing” to have a grown man posing as a 17-year-old — but the authorities did not appear to be concerned.

“Our concerns are just fobbed off,” said one.

Ms. Sergeant said it was important to tackle the “myth” that most so-called child refugees in Britain are “vulnerable children”.

She points out that, according to Eurostat figures, only 8 per cent of unaccompanied minors who arrived in 2015 were under 14, over half claimed to be aged 16-17, and fully 91 per cent were male.

She also quotes Save the Children as having admitted that “Many come across as being self-reliant and not in need of support” — and says that most are not orphans, but have instead been sent ahead by their families in the care of people-smugglers.

‘Ninety per cent of them are not orphans,” according to an immigration officer with over twenty years’ experience who spoke to the writer.

“Their coming here is very well worked out. Their families have paid the people traffickers to bring them here. The intention is for the families to follow shortly after. These are cash-rich young people.”

The dubious origins of many supposed child refugees do not just put vulnerable children from the United Kingdom at a disadvantage — they also pose a potential security risk.

For example, suspected Parsons Green terror bomber Ahmed Hassan came to Britain claiming to be a child refugee, and is accused of building the bomb which exploded on a London Underground train in his foster parents’ kitchen.

A counter-extremism expert Ms. Sergeant spoke to even warned her that “There is nothing in the system to stop a 26-year-old ISIS fighter coming here, stating he is 17 and claiming asylum.”

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