- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 18, 2016

U.K. immigration officials say hundreds of “child” refugees from the Middle East and Syria’s ongoing civil war are turning out to be adults over the age of 18.

The U.K.’s Home Office says that of 574 refugees with questionable status in September 2015, 371 individuals — or 65 percent — were adults. That share decreases to 43 percent when 11,121 age disputes since 2006 are calculated.

News of the fraudulent age claims comes just days after Britain agreed to take 20 migrants from France’s Calais refugee camp. A member of parliament told the U.K. Telegraph that he witnessed instructions for how to deceive officials during the vetting process.

“When I went to Calais there were caravans with notices on how to get coaching on what to say if you need to get into Britain,” David Davies, the Conservative MP for Monmouth, told the newspaper. “So I am very concerned about this.”

Mr. Davies said refugees should undergo medical tests that give a more accurate reading of their age. Hundreds of asylum-seekers are expected to enter Britain legally before the Calais camp is dismantled.

“We have to verify the ages independently with a test. There are two tests — one that involves bone X-rays and one that involves a dental check. Currently, government advice is that they need to give these people the benefit of the doubt, and that needs to change. I’m all for helping innocent children, but it is completely ridiculous if we are just going to allow people in based on what they tell us.”

Immigration officials told the newspaper that they “work closely with the French authorities” to gather as much information on the refugees as possible. Home Office added that officials were “certain” this week’s transfers from Calais were children.

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