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Home Office bags £100 million profit from children's citizenship fees

THE Home Office has made over £100 million in profit from children’s British citizenship registration fees in the last five years, MPs heard in the Commons today.

The huge sum is made up of charges of more than £1,000 for each child to register them as British nationals.

Former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron quoted the figures during Home Office questions and said the fees include children who were born in Britain or had moved here during infancy.

He described it as “profiteering at the expense of young people seeking to pledge their future to Britain” and “another Windrush scandal in the making.”

He asked the Home Secretary Sajid Javid to “do the right thing” and end the excessive charges.

Mr Javid disagreed with Mr Farron by saying: “It is right there’s a balance between the cost faced by individuals making applications and the cost faced by the taxpayer.

“I think it is sensible to keep those under review and if costs are changed it’s right that Parliament makes that decision.”

SNP MP Patrick Grady asked Mr Javid if he was proud of the department profiting from the charges.

Mr Javid replied: “This revenue that is being generated is being used to provide public services, not just to those people who are making applications, but supporting wider public services.”

Shadow home secretary Diane Abbott raised the issue of delays in people receiving responses on their visa applications.

She said it has been one of the biggest problems for the public, businesses, and MPs trying to help their constituents.

Ms Abbott raised the case of a constituent who she said had submitted an application for further leave in 2005 and her application is still outstanding 13 years later.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said making sure that responses to MPs and the public are of “the highest priority.”

Labour MP Mary Creagh reminded MPs of the Indian national AJS, who was unlawfully detained in an immigration removal centre and separated from his three-year-old daughter.

The Star reported last week that he was awarded £50,000 compensation and received an apology from the Home Office after a ruling by the High Court that his detention was unlawful.

Ms Creagh called on ministers to end the unlawful practice of indefinite detention and separation of families.

Shadow immigration minister Afzal Khan said: “The Prime Minister has condemned Donald Trump’s family separation policy, but this government’s hostile environment separates parents from their children every day.”

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