An average of 100 Afghans a year are now being sent back to their country of their birth despite many having not lived there for years, theBureau of Investigative Journalism found. Hundreds of others remain in Britain awaiting a similar fate.
Those deported have mostly spent their formative years in Britain living with foster parents, taking GCSEs and A-levels, and having little or no contact with the country of their birth.
But, under Britain’s immigration policies, their “leave to remain” is automatically cancelled when they are 18 and they are in line for deportation. In many cases, those sent back no longer know where their families live, having gone years without contact. Their Westernised mannerisms and accents also mean they are often regarded with suspicion in Afghanistan, and some told the Bureau they have been left homeless, chased by the Taliban, kidnapped, ransomed and beaten.
Afghan children are more than twice as likely to be refused permanent asylum than children of other countries of origin. Since 2006, 15 per cent of all unaccompanied asylum-seeking children were given refugee status, compared with just 6 per cent of Afghan children.