ADULT asylum seekers who lie about their age and pretend to be juveniles are being placed in foster homes with young children, an MP has warned.
Monmouth MP David Davies revealed he had been alerted to the case of an Afghan national in his early 20s who misrepresented his age and was sent to live with a foster family in Monmouthshire alongside young children as young as 12.
The man, who entered Britain illegally via Calais, claimed he was also 12 and was placed in care by social services as a 16 year-old. He was later removed from the home after allegedly assaulting a foster carer.
Legal proceedings are underway but because of his registered age, the man is being treated as a minor. Dental checks showed he is probably aged between 18 and 21.
It has angered Mr Davies, who said the age assessment guidelines were “dangerously flawed” and putting host families “at risk”.
“There are more and more asylum seekers who are clearly over 18 and claiming to be children,” he said.
“Dental records can quickly establish whether someone is an adult or nor but there is a reluctance to suggest that individuals are lying.
“However, it is extremely dangerous to take every claim at face value and these guidelines are flawed.”
Mr Davies said regardless of the legal outcome, the man will be able to stay in the UK for another six years before facing deportation due to his registered age – even if his application for asylum is rejected.
“At this point, he will claim he has been here so long that it would be an infringement of his human rights if he is sent back,” added Mr Davies.
“The foster carers who wanted to help genuine unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are quite rightly very upset at the way they have been treated.
“I’m also concerned that the authorities have tried to stop this particular family from speaking out by using veiled threats and I will be taking up the matter in Parliament.”
Other reported cases have involved a “teenage” asylum seeker sexually assaulting a carer.
And Mr Davies added: “One asylum seeker was even looking at jihadi websites and child pornography.
“It’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt. This needs to stop now.”