Kent Council Threatens To Sue the Home Office as Local ‘Child Migrant’ Services Become Overwhelmed

DEAL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 15: A migrant family walks along the coast on September 15, 2020 at Kingsdown Beach in Deal, England. More than 6,100 migrants have made the crossing by boat this year according to an analysis by the Press Association. (Photo by Luke Dray/Getty Images)
Luke Dray/Getty Images

Kent County Council (KCC) has threatened to sue the Home Office to force other councils in England to take in child migrants amid claims that Kent’s services are at the “breaking point”.

The Conservative Party controlled council, which is the main landing spot for illegal boat migrants, is preparing to launch a legal challenge against Home Secretary Priti Patel to mandate other councils take their “fair share” of child migrants.

So far this year some 242 alleged child migrants have been brought ashore by the British Border Force at the Port of Dover in Kent, yet only 52 have been transfered to other councils in England, according to the BBC.

Tory council leader Roger Gough said that the situation for Kent’s child migrant services is “a repeat of the same crisis of nine months ago” when the council claimed that it could no longer “safely accomodate” the numbers of migrants claiming to be under the age of 18-years-old.

Currently, there is a voluntary system for child migrant transfers out of Kent. The council has threatened to launch a judicial review to make the system mandatory, arguing that there has been a “refusal and/or continuing failure by the Home Secretary to exercise her powers to prepare a mandatory scheme”.

Mr Gough said: “We have not seen what is most needed: a robust National Transfer Scheme that prevents port authorities such as Kent coming under unmanageable pressure.”

The Conservative council leader said that by the end of this week the council will no longer be able to safely accept any more child migrants. The council has demanded that the Border Force immidiately takes new child arrivals to other local authorites after they are brought ashore at Dover.

If the transfer scheme is not enforced by Home Secretary Priti Patel, the council said that it would launch a claim for judicial review by June 17th.

A spokeswoman for the Home Office said: “We recognise the longstanding role that Kent County Council has played in supporting unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and are extremely grateful for their contribution.

“We continue to encourage more areas to join the National Transfer Scheme and do their part.

“We have already consulted on how to improve the scheme to make it fairer, the outcome of which will be published very shortly.”

So far this year, approximately 4,300 illegal migrants have landed on British soil, more than double last year’s record numbers.

At the time of this reporting, it is not clear what percentage of the 242 migrants claiming to be children are in fact under the age of 18, as migrants have historically claimed to be under age in order to increase their chances of being granted asylum in the UK.

In 2018, for expample, the Home Office revealed that between 2010 and 2016, there were at least 2,644 illegal migrants who lied about their age in order to boost their asylum chances. Even still, only 20 per cent of those fake child migrants were successfully deported.

In a noteable instance, in 2016, an man believed to be 38-years-old at the time claimed that he was a child migrant who crossed from Calais, France. It was later revealed that he was in fact a full-blown adult.

Amid outcry over the incident, leftist activsts had falsely claimed that he was serving as a language interperater for other illgal migrants.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka

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