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Monday, October 25, 2021

Asylum seekers could face X-ray bone checks to prove their real age

There has been a five-fold increase in the number of unaccompanied children entering Europe, according to Eurostat. Unlike adults, they are taken into council care on arrival in the UK and most often placed with foster families if under 16.

The Home Office will also propose changes to the law to close a loophole that allowed Shamima Begum, the Islamic State bride, to challenge the decision to remove her citizenship because she was not given prior notice, even though she was in Syria.

Counter-terrorism powers

The amendment to the Bill will scrap the requirement so that the Home Secretary will be able to strip suspected terrorists of their citizenship without informing them in advance.

Ministers will also give counter-terrorism officers greater powers to investigate Channel migrants suspected of links to terrorism. They will extend schedule seven of the Terrorism Act which covers ports and airports to enable them stop, search, question and detain any migrant.

The bill comes amid a record surge in the numbers of migrants crossing the Channel in small boats. Nearly 18,700 have reached the UK so far this year, more than double the 8,461 in the whole of 2020.

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