Child migrants will NOT be excluded from Channel crisis
Child migrants will NOT be excluded from tough new measures to combat the Channel crisis – amid fears it would cause a spike in teenagers making the perilous journey while providing more loopholes for smugglers
- The Government has declined to exclude child migrants from tough new rules
- People traffickers would exploit the exclusion of under-18s, a source claimed
Proposals to exclude child migrants from tough new measures to combat the Channel crisis were ruled out by the Government last night.
Tory backbencher Tim Loughton had tabled an amendment to the Illegal Migration Bill which would prevent under-18s being detained and swiftly removed from Britain.
But a Home Office source said the move could lead to large numbers of 17-year-olds, and other teenagers, getting into small boats.
Organised criminals involved in people trafficking would exploit the exclusion of under-18s, the source added.
Proposals to exclude child migrants from tough new measures to combat the Channel crisis were ruled out by the Government last night
‘This would simply create an incentive for people smugglers to put 17-year-olds on the boats,’ the source said.
‘The amendment would also create the possibility of traffickers creating “fake families” made up of strangers in a bid to take advantage of such a loophole.’
Last night Mr Loughton, who is on the liberal wing of the party, also told the Commons the Government must introduce extended ‘safe and legal’ routes for asylum seekers before the rest of the Bill’s measures are introduced.
The government source also rejected these proposals, made in another amendment to the Bill.
The source said ministers had committed to introducing additional safe routes – but only after illegal migration has been tackled.
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