Socialist Worker

Lord Dubs slams Tory decision to shut out child refugees

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2540

The Dubs amendment was won by campaigning

The Dubs amendment was won by campaigning (Pic: Guy Smallman)


The same Tory government that’s opening the door to bigot-in-chief Donald Trump slammed it in the face of lone child refugees this week.

Home secretary Amber Rudd announced on Wednesday that Britain would stop taking in children under section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016, known as the Dubs amendment.

Labour peer Alf Dubs, whose campaigning saw the amendment adopted, told Socialist Worker, “It’s a shameful closing down of the scheme to bring child refugees in. It’s quite wrong and it leaves vulnerable children in danger.”

Tens of thousands of children are among the refugees seeking safety in Europe—100,000 by some estimates. The British state finds any excuse not to take them in.

Some have been able to come as relatives of people already in Britain, others have risked their lives travelling in the back of lorries.

The amendment committed the government to identify and take in other unaccompanied children.

Alf Dubs

Alf Dubs (Pic: Guy Smallman)


It was expected to bring in 3,000. Rudd said that 200 have been brought in so far and the scheme will be closed after just 150 more.

Dubs, who first came to Britain as a child fleeing the Nazis in the 1930s, called it “a shabby breach of what they said at the time.”

Locking

Rudd claimed the closure was necessary to stop human traffickers. But it’s locking children out that makes them vulnerable to the most predatory and exploitative elements.

The decision was slammed in parliament today, Thursday. Labour MP and home affairs select committee chair Yvette Cooper accused the government of “turning its back” on children.

A legal challenge was set to be heard on Friday.

Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) has launched an online petition against the closure and has called a protest tomorrow, Friday, at Downing Street from 6pm.

Welcoming refugees will also be one of the demands of the SUTR national demonstrations on Saturday 18 March.

Popular outrage forced David Cameron’s government to accept the Dubs amendment. It will take even more to stop Theresa May’s government overturning it.

Dubs said, “What people should do is get onto their MPs, contact their local councillors, and where there are demonstrations they should join those demonstrations.


Article information

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Thu 9 Feb 2017, 14:37 GMT
Issue No. 2540
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