Primary School Children Of EU Citizens To Be Checked For Criminal Records
UK confirms Primary School Children Of EU Citizens To Be Checked For Criminal Records
The Home Office has prompted outrage after confirming primary school-age children of EU citizens will be checked for criminal records, despite previously suggesting that this would only apply to over-18s.
Campaigners said ministers were "misleading the public" after the Home Office said all applicants for the EU settlement scheme aged 10 and over were being checked to see whether they had a criminal record, and would be refused if they met the "deportation threshold".
This is despite the fact that the government website states criminal checks would apply only to applicants who were 18 or over, prompting concerns that the government was "misleading the public".
EU nationals living in Britain need to apply for settled status by the end of June 2021 – or by the end of 2020 if Britain crashes out of the bloc – to remain in the country legally.
Without settled status, children will risk becoming undocumented, which would leave them unable to access state support and could make them liable to detention and deportation in the coming years.
dozens of vulnerable EU children serving jail sentences in Britain could be stripped of their immigration rights after Brexit because the Home Office is refusing to let them apply for settled status.
When approached for a comment on that article, a Home Office spokesperson said: “An application to the EU settlement scheme will be refused if it meets the deportation threshold. All applications from those aged 10 and over are checked to see whether the applicant has a criminal record.”
Guidance for EU settlement applicants the government's own website appears to contradict this statement, saying: "If you’re 18 or over, the Home Office will check you have not committed serious or repeated crimes, and that you do not pose a security threat."
Labour’s shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: “This is wrong on every level. Children should not be subject to criminal checks and they shouldn’t have their residency status put at risk in this way. And ministers should not mislead the public by saying one thing and doing another.
“It’s clear that this government simply cannot be trusted and the only way to end their ‘hostile environment’ policy being applied to growing numbers of people is to get rid of this government altogether.”