SWEDEN: Blow Whistle on Adult Migrants Posing as Kids, Lose Your Job: Fired dental hygienist facing financial ruin from government agency. [archive]

“I would probably estimate that up to 80 percent of them were obviously adults,” Herlitz told the Swedish paper Samhallsnytt. “This can be seen, for example, on wisdom teeth that were fully grown – something that is only seen in adults.”

In Sweden, newly arrived asylum seekers receive preferential treatment if they claim to be minors. Unlike adults, they cannot be denied asylum and returned to a part of their country deemed safe while their case is under review. If approved, they are allowed to bring their families to join them, further incentivizing migrants to lie about their age and making Sweden a prime destination for “unaccompanied minors.” Despite growing pressure to medically test migrants using dental, knee or wrist-bone X-rays, which are said to yield age estimates accurate within one year, Swedish authorities have resisted.

To better educate himself and confirm his suspicions, Herlitz and his wife attended a seminar in July 2016 focused on assessing age in both the judicial and sports worlds. At the time, a national debate was underway regarding the high cost of supporting the influx of migrants from the Mideast. Herlitz, upon consulting with a unit manager of the Swedish Migration Board, was told the government indeed wanted to be sure migrants were the age they claimed and that he should report any suspicions to the board.

So, upon returning to work in August of last year, Herlitz began passing on his suspicions to the Swedish Migration Board, based primarily on the wisdom teeth he was observing when treating “minors” and advising that the age listed in their records was wrong, in his expert opinion. He expressed concern that adults posing as minors could put children at risk if they were housed together.

Eight emails later, Herlitz found himself under investigation. The board never responded to his notices, but a guardian for one of the migrants he questioned notified Herlitz’s employer.

“The manager asked me to come to a single room where there was also another senior manager from the employer, Region Gotland. They told me I will not go to work tomorrow, that I’m turned off and that there will be an investigation,” he said.