UK Council at Capacity in Ability to Care for Alleged ‘Child Migrants’

UK Border Force officials stand aboard their patrol vessel HMC Eagle with migrants intercepted whilst travelling in a RIB from France to Dover, as they approach the Marina in Dover, southeast England on August 12, 2020. - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday said illegal migrant crossings of the …
ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images

Kent County Council (KCC) in the South East of England said that it can no longer “safely accommodate” any more asylum seekers claiming to be under the age of 18, after “months of extraordinary demands” that the Channel boat migrant crisis has placed on its services.

The leaders of the KCC called upon Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to distribute alleged child migrants throughout the country on Tuesday. The call came after the arrival of 13 more alleged under-18-year-old migrants arrived in the past few days, which they claim “tipped the balance” on their ability to house the migrants.

So far this year, some 400 migrants claiming to be under the age of 18 have arrived in small boats from France at the Port of Dover, where they were entered into the child asylum seeker system in Kent. In total, the Kent is currently caring for 589 migrants claiming to be under 18, and an additional 945 migrants between the age of 18 and 25.

“We cannot safely accommodate any more asylum-seeking children at this time,” the council said in a statement reported by local news outlet Kent Online.

“I am deeply disappointed and concerned that, despite our many efforts to avoid this unthinkable situation, it has been necessary to make this announcement today,” council leader Roger Gough said.

The Home Office described the problem in Kent as an “unprecedented situation” while saying that they are attempting to alleviate the pressure through a voluntary national transfer system for migrants, that would see migrants sent throughout the country, according to the BBC.

Sue Chandler, the cabinet member for integrated children’s services said that the scheme to transfer migrants should be mandatory, saying that the voluntary system has been inadequate “due to the continued high level of arrivals, it has not been enough to make a real difference to the numbers in Kent.”

To date, there have been at least 4,500 migrants brought ashore by the British Border Force after attempting to cross the English Channel from France this year. However, the true figure of migrants who have entered the UK during this time is likely far higher, as it only reflects those detected and in light of the Home Office’s decision to stop publishing numbers of allegedly under-18 arrivals.

It is also unclear exactly how many of those claiming to be minors are actually under the age of 18, as many migrants have lied about their age in order to game the British asylum system.

For example, in 2018, the Home Office admitted that between 2010 and 2016, 2644 migrants had lied about being minors in order to up their chances of being granted asylum. The figures also showed that just 20 per cent of those who lied about their age were deported from the country.

In an infamous example of this practice, an apparently 38-year-old man claimed that he was a child migrant from Calais, France. It later emerged that he was, in fact, an adult. Leftist activists had falsely claimed that he was serving as a language interpreter when photos of the illegal migrant initially emerged online.

As the migrant crisis in the English Channel hits record numbers, the Home Office has booked approximately 4,000 hotel rooms across the country in order to house supposed asylum seekers.

The Home Office said per The Times: “Since March the number of people within the asylum system has risen. This is because we temporarily ceased ending asylum support for those whose claims have been either granted or refused. This is to ensure people were not made homeless during lockdown.”

On Sunday, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage released footage which apparently showed a hotel in Home Secretary Priti Patel’s home constituency, which was fully booked with illegal boat migrants while their asylum application is processed.

The Home Office said that an “operational failure” led to the “placing” of migrants in the Rivenhall Hotel in Witham, Essex.

Responding to the Home Office’s statement, Mr Farage told talkRadio on Monday that he thinks they “rushed” out the statement because they “panicked over the embarrassment of the video, they are “very embarrassed because it happened to Priti Patel”.

“They’ve now made a rod for their own back,” Mr Farage said, explaining: “If you have one of these hotels in your area, and you’re not living in Birmingham, London, Manchester, or Glasgow, you’ve now got every right to get onto your MP and say ‘well according to the home office they shouldn’t be here.'”

Follow Kurt on Twitter at @KurtZindulka

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