The government U-turn on the Dubs immigration amendment is wrongby Caroline Lucas / February 22, 2017 / Leave a comment
It wasn’t so long ago that the plight of child refugees was splashed across the front pages of every major newspaper in Britain. The experience of refugees coming to Europe, and then travelling from south to north and east to west, couldn’t be ignored. When the tiny body of Alan Kurdi was washed up on a Greek beach even the Sun called on the government to step up and deal with Europe’s “biggest crisis since World War Two.”
The government did respond—though not as quickly or strongly as many of us would have wanted. First it said it would take in 20,000 Syrian refugees over five years– and redouble efforts in the Middle East to help those in need. A few months later, Alfred Dubs’s amendment to the Immigration Act was passed into law—aiming specifically to help lone child refugees who had made it to Europe. The universal expectation at the time—voiced by charities and politicians alike—was that Britain would take 3,000 of these extremely vulnerable children.
To date, almost a year after the Dubs Amendment was passed, there have been just 200 beneficiaries of the scheme—and the government has just announced that it is scrapping it with only 150 more children set to arrive.