Dozens of migrants from the now-demolished Calais camp are taking legal action against the British government for refusing to allow them into the UK.
The 36 migrants, who all claim to be teenagers, are being helped by Duncan Lewis Solicitors in challenging the Home Secretary Amber Rudd. They accuse her of violating an amendment to the Immigration Act that means Britain has to accept some of the most vulnerable unaccompanied children.
The Guardian says that of those bringing the action, 28 had their applications refused while the rest are still awaiting a decision from the Home Office.
The lawyers say the Home Office has failed in its duties by refusing the applications, and also failed to give proper written decisions to the migrants.
The Home Office said it would be “inappropriate” to comment on ongoing proceedings.
The issue of ‘child migrants’ entering the UK became particularly controversial this year after it was revealed the Home Office had been failing to verify whether they were genuinely under 18.
The government’s first attempt to take supposed children from Calais backfired after it was revealed that fingerprints proved at least one of the migrant was over 18. The man’s fingerprints were already on the UK’s database, which meant he had either tried to enter Britain before, or had a criminal record.
Figures in October revealed that around two thirds of supposed child migrants were in fact adults, with 65 per cent found to be over 18 in the year to September 2015.
In that period, 574 asylum applicants had their age assessed, of whom 371 were found to be adults.
Conservative MP David Davies said that unless the government did more establish their age it would “undermine public trust”.
“I spoke to someone in an asylum centre in the UK recently, who said he’s had people with grey hair who will claim to be 17 – not that anyone believes it… but they do it because it takes that little bit longer to sort the case and the less chance there is they’re going to get removed,” he said.
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