In one French department, 80 percent of minors tested were determined to have lied about being minors and are actually adults, said Charles de Courson, a French MP of the center-right Union of Democrats and Independents, while speaking in the French General Assembly.
“Eighty percent of unaccompanied migrants in France’s northeast Marne department who declared themselves thus are not minors,” said de Courson said in a speech translated by Remix News. “In retrospect, for us, in my department, where there are 240 (of them), following the checks — more exactly bone analyses — 80 percent have been found not to be minors.”
“May I remind you that the department of Marne, which has about 1 percent of France’s population, the cost of caring for these 160 (false minors) costs €5,000 per month, that is €60,000 per year (for each one). And the state, after it has been found out that these ‘minors’ are in fact adults, only reimburses part of our costs, which are nowhere near our actual expenses,” he said.
Migrants have a significant motive to lie about their age, as they can gain access to a number of financial benefits and, perhaps most importantly, are not eligible for deportation.
The French politician is pushing for the federal government to take responsibility for the migrants instead of the local departments, which are ill-equipped to deal with the financial burden they represent.
“Thus, the real problem is administrative organization. (The fact that) the departments are in charge of unaccompanied minors and the federal government for the rest, if I may say so. We must change this. It would be logical that the federal government be competent for of all of them,” he added. “There would no longer be this division between the federal government and the departments, and the government, in turn, would commission the department to take care of them.”
“We must be rid of this bad administrative organization with a reform that would say that the state is responsible for the totality of them.”
This kind of data is actually nothing new in France. As Remix News previously reported, Algerians, Moroccans, and Tunisians represented more than 75 percent of unaccompanied minors in France in 2019, and many of them could actually be adults, according to a parliamentary report.
Of the three nations, Algerians were overwhelmingly represented, as almost 50 percent of unaccompanied minors came from that nation.
In the report, prosecutors Rémy Heitz and Aude Groualle also specified that a large number of adults take advantage of the protective regime guaranteed in a law from 1945 and pretend to be minors.
An experiment carried out by the Paris prosecutor’s office in 2019 revealed that in a group of 154 people formally identified as minors, 141 of them were adults based on medical examinations, representing 91.6 percent.
Cases of adult migrants lying about their age are not unique to France. A study from Belgium found that 73 percent of “underage migrants” were actually adults.
In Sweden, the numbers were even starker, with 84 percent of “child migrants” tested by Swedish health authorities actually turning out to be adults aged 18 or older, according to a report from the BBC.
According to a study from Germany conducted by the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Münster, a large proportion of underage immigrants lie about their age. The university clinic’s forensic specialists examined around 600 so-called unaccompanied minor refugees whose age was questioned on behalf of the courts. The institute determined that around 40 percent of them were demonstrably 18 years of age or older.