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London Mayor calls for action to secure the future of undocumented young Londoners

107,000 children living in London without secure immigration status

New figures released by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, have revealed that an estimated 107,000 children and a further 26,000 18-24 year olds are living in London without secure immigration status.

Despite more than half being born in the UK, these young people are often unable to access higher education, open a bank account, apply for a driving licence, secure housing or employment. Those above the age of 18 also face the threat of deportation.

The Mayor has labelled the findings a 'national disgrace' and called on the Government to take urgent action to support these young people to secure their futures. He believes it is vital that ministers provide financial support to advice services, cut extortionate immigration and citizenship fees and reinstate legal aid for children's immigration cases.

Sadiq Khan has warned of the potential for a further crisis with Brexit, if the 260,000 European-national children and 96,000 European-national young people living in the capital are not supported in applying to the EU Settlement Scheme, or for citizenship.

New research, carried out by the University of Wolverhampton and commissioned by the Mayor, reveals that more than half of the UK's estimated 674,000 undocumented adults and children are living in the capital. Undocumented people can include those who were born in the UK or have spent the majority of their life in the UK, as well as those who are eligible for citizenship but for whom the fees are prohibitive.

The Mayor has provided £370,000 to improve access to legal advice for Londoners with insecure immigration status.

For more information about the research, click here. For analysis of the issue by Coram Children's Legal Centre, click here.

10/1/20