Tag Archives: dubs amendment

Both Houses Debate Calais Today

Ahead of the today’s debate in the House of Commons on “Calais and unaccompanied child refugees in Europe”, and in the House of Lords on “Government assessment of the condition of refugees and migrants still in Calais and the surrounding area” (led by Lib Dem peer, Lord Roberts of Llandudno) Lord Robert’s parliamentary researcher writes:

As anyone in the vicinity of Parliament Square last Tuesday will likely have gathered, given a well-attended protest in its recognition, October marks a year since the demolition of the Calais ‘jungle.’

Outside Ronnie Scott’s on Friday, where I was singing as part of the Citizens

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Well – did they consult or not?

The issue of refugee children will not go away – both in reality and in terms of a decency-check on the current Government, including the Home Secretary in particular.

The Government is adamant that the decision to close the ‘Dubs’ scheme, which many believed would allow the country to accept a further 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees, was because local government did not have the capacity for more than around 400. The evidence for this is that the Home Office asked councils and this is what councils told it. Simples.

The problem with this is twofold.

First of all, why did the Home Office …

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Compassion Fatigue? Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children

On Wednesday there was the announcement that we would not take any more child refugees. Noticeable that the government released this statement the same day of the Brexit vote! And this story was not even on front pages yesterday.

Lib Dems had campaigned for the UK to take 3000 unaccompanied minors. Many others lobbied, including Lord Alf Dubs, and this resulted in the so-called Dubs amendment to the Immigration Act 2016.

Where is our compassion? Should we not be taking in the most vulnerable victims of horrendous conflicts that have caused children to flee their own country? This saga has gone on for too long, and now the news that the UK will not accept more. The 350 children we will have taken by the end of March is far fewer than other countries have done. Based on our size and wealth, we should feel an obligation to take so many more children. But we don’t seem to have a heart anymore.

I was at a seminar on Wednesday convened by Lord Roberts in the House of Lords about how to better support unaccompanied asylum seeking children. Representatives from the Refugee Council, Amnesty, UNICEF and the Immigration Law Practitioners Association all spoke. This was before the news broke on not taking any more refugee children. The ideas of what the UK should do (and the assumption was that we would be taking more children) were:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 39 Comments
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