Layla Moran, Lib Dem MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, has said it is “heartless” that one in three under-18s from the EU living in the UK have been refused permanent residency, according to figures published today by the Home Office, leaving over 100,000 children living in uncertainty.
The figures also reveal that almost half of the EU nationals who applied for permanent residency in Oxfordshire were only granted the weaker pre-settled status.
Of the 316,960 under-18s who have applied so far for the Conservative government's settlement scheme nationwide, only 199,260 have been offered settled status, which gives the right to stay permanently in the UK. 116,620, or more than one in three, were offered the weaker pre-settled status which only gives a temporary right to remain. Another 1,080 applications from under-18s were withdrawn or deemed invalid or void.
In total 32,830 EU citizens have now applied to stay in the UK under the settlement scheme in Oxfordshire. Of these, over 14,000 have only been offered the more precarious pre-settled status. This means they will have to reapply for the full, permanent settled status once they can prove they've been in the UK for over five years.
Commenting, Layla Moran said:
"It is a mark of shame on this government that thousands of children from the EU are being refused permanent residency in the UK.
"These are families who have made this country their home, but are being forced to jump through bureaucratic hoops just to have the right to stay here.
"The Conservatives’ heartless approach is causing unbearable anxiety amongst EU citizens who are our neighbours, colleagues and friends. That only half have been given full settled status in Oxfordshire is deeply troubling.
"Boris Johnson must intervene personally and make clear that no child from the EU will be deported from the UK."
The new stats can be viewed and downloaded here.