Asylum seekers pretending to be teenagers for faster processing

IMMIGRATION detainees are pretending to be teens to get their visa applications processed quicker and live in better conditions.

Victoria's biggest youth immigration detention centre in Broadmeadows is filled with many asylum seekers claiming to be under 18 to escape the tougher regulations for adults, an investigation has discovered.

Secret photos obtained by the Herald Sun reveal men with obvious signs of ageing, including crow's-feet, wrinkles around their eyes and receding hairlines. Experts say the men are more likely to be aged in their 20s.

Several Immigration Department sources have confirmed the con. Immigration officials lack time and resources to investigate people's ages so they deliver them to youth detention centres with "a wry smile", a whistleblower said.

"There are some massive guys, we're talking about man mountains, in the centre. Sixteen-year-olds just aren't built like that," the source said. Adult detainees bullied genuine youngsters at the facility, it was revealed.

University of Technology Sydney forensic anatomist Dr Meiya Sutisno said an initial assessment of a selection of the photographs showed men not minors. "They are not juveniles, definitely not," she said. Dr Sutisno said the men in photos she had seen were aged between 18 and their late-20s.

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said the age scam had become widely known among asylum seekers and the department was unable to prove people's ages.

"They (the department) have no idea how old these people are," he said. "They just guess."

Sources revealed:

MANY detainees deliberately have no documentation of their age so they can lie about how old they are.

SOME asylum seekers have privately confessed to being more than a decade older than they claimed.

INMATES at the Broadmeadows facility have boasted about escaping at night to get McDonald's.

Asylum Seeker Resource Centre coordinator Pamela Curr said many didn't know their ages because it was not in their culture to celebrate birthdays. "They say what they have been told to say by people smugglers."


1 comment:

  1. Pamela Curr's comment was wrong in so many ways! I think that unless you were born in a remote sub-Saharan tribe, it would be pretty unusual not to know your date of birth in this day and age (even if you don't celebrate your birthday you would at least know when and where you were born for legal and/or registration reasons). These guys don't look like they come from remote tribes to me (and they all seem to be able to use computers and mobile phones without too many problems). And if for arguments sake they were born in some remote area isolated from civilisation and the rest of the world -- how on earth would they have obtained the sort of money you need to pay people smugglers? Eitherway, in my opinion if you don't know when you were born you should be honest and say so. Giving the same DOB as every-one else just exposes you as a liar (not that that seems to hinder entry into this country). Also, to get to Indonesia in the first place (most people fly in apparently) you would have to have a passport stating your date of birth. I think Pamela takes us for fools!


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