Priti Patel threatens to x-ray migrants suspected of lying about their age and impose visa penalties on countries that do not cooperate with deportations of their own citizens, under recently announced plans.
The Nationality and Borders Bill would give the government the power to use “scientifically verifiable” measurements of bones or take DNA samples to verify the ages of people seeking to live in the UK.
Reports have claimed that authorities hope to take x-rays of the forearm bones, which would be the most accurate method to estimate the maturity of a child’s skeletal system. The government is also considering using a method called DNA methylation to estimate the age of applicants.
Officials say this would bring Britain in line with other EU countries and the United States, which use similar methods, including dental x-rays, to check migrants’ ages. But previous proposals to use dental x-rays to check the age of migrants have sparked an uproar from doctors and dentists who say they are inaccurate and it is unethical to take x-rays of people without. health benefit.
The Home Office says most asylum seekers who say they are children are adults.
Under a series of amendments, Patel is also expected to include the power to suspend visas altogether, impose an additional £ 190 for coming to Britain or increase visa processing times for countries that refuse to take back their own citizens.
Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Eritrea and the Philippines are said to be the countries most reluctant to cooperate with the UK.
“We rightly expect our international partners to work with us to deport those who have no right to be in the UK, such as foreign dangerous offenders,” Patel said in a statement. “It is unfair to UK citizens and taxpayers that pressure is put on our public services by foreign nationals with no legal right to be here… I will continue to take the tough steps necessary to fix our asylum system failing and respecting what the British people want – full control of our borders.
Under the legislation, foreign criminals could also be removed from Britain up to 12 months before the end of their prison term, compared to the previous nine months, the government said.
The government is also planning to expand the types of applications that can be processed under an expedited detention appeal, so that more cases can be resolved before a person is released into the community.
The United States calls on foreign governments to take appropriate action with respect to deportations and removals. Any lack of cooperation from the home country would in many cases result in visa sanctions, which may vary in severity.
Earlier this month, the EU temporarily suspended the application of certain provisions of the visa code to Gambian nationals. This decision was taken due to the country’s lack of cooperation in the readmission of third-country nationals illegally staying in the EU.
In the coming week, the government is also expected to introduce legislation to establish an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) system. Once introduced, carriers will need to verify that all passengers except UK and Irish citizens have a digital authorization or other form of authorization before they can travel to the UK.