The UK government on Thursday issued an apology to a group of migrants who were forcefully made to undergo DNA tests to prove they were entitled to live and work in the country.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid made the remarks in the House of Commons, saying: “at the end of June we became aware of some immigration cases where the provision of DNA evidence had been made a requirement – and it was not simply a request.
“This published guidance was wrong and has now been updated … Today I want to take this opportunity to apologise to those who have been affected by this process.”
Among those affected were some relatives of Gurkhas and Afghan nationals employed by the UK government, Javid said.
The Guardian newspaper reports that a review by the Home Office found that at least 449 demands for DNA were issued to migrants, including 51 to Gurkha soldiers.
The paper said at least seven people, including four from one family, were denied the right to stay in the UK because they refused to provide DNA samples to prove they had family ties.
“No one should have faced a demand to provide DNA evidence and no one should have been penalised for not providing it,” Javid said.
“Mandatory testing should not have been part of this scheme and this requirement has now been removed.”
The Home Secretary said that the affected people would be reimbursed, saying that he had set up a task force to review the immigration system.