Kent County Council says that it will not anymore take on any unaccompanied asylum-seeking child migrants from Monday. It has already reached the limit of safety capacity. The council has also threatened legal action against the Home Secretary over the ‘extreme pressure on the service.
More than 400 children are staying in the care of the council. The government has recommended the maximum number with the limit of 231.
The Home Office on Thursday came up with the announcement measures. It has also encouraged the other local authorities to have a take on the child migrants.
Kent County Council has taken similar action in August. It is quite unclear what will happen if more children continue to arrive starting next week. The KCC leader, Roger Gough, has said that it is saddening for him to be in this unthinkable position.
He continues, “Despite warnings and continued dialogue with the government, Kent’s UASC [unaccompanied asylum-seeking children] support resources are again significantly overwhelmed.”
Mr. Gough has said there are no further arrivals that could have the acceptance until sufficient transfers are happening outside Kent. It is bringing their numbers back to safe levels. According to him, it was a small problem for the nation to resolve. But it is a huge and unreasonable responsibility for Kent.
KCC has taken the first steps in the legal actions against Home Secretary Priti Patel. It also wants her to make the other councils have their fair share. Without any substantive response to this proposal, KCC said it would opt for issuing a claim for judicial review.
A Home Office spokesman has said the Home Office is grateful for the role of KCC that it has played to support. They have provided them with more substantial operational support, which includes the transferring of those who require the support.
He continued, “We recently announced vital updates to the National Transfer Scheme to alleviate pressures on certain areas and continue to work closely across Government on provision for unaccompanied minors.”
This year at least 4449 migrants have crossed the English Channel in small boats. 925 people have arrived in Dover in the first 10 days of June.