On Thursday 23rd February Local MP, David Burrowes, called on the Government to ‘widen’ its commitment to transferring unaccompanied children from Europe, as it has "not yet fulfilled its moral and legal legal duty to child refugees" through the ‘Dubs amendment’ to the Immigration Act.
Following a Government announcement that, based on a consultation with local authorities, the scheme will only transfer 350 more children. Mr Burrowes helped to secure a debate to challenge the Government.
Mr Burrowes said: ‘We should want to do the maximum for the most vulnerable refugees who need our support. The Government responded practically to Lord Dubs calls by recognising that focusing on numbers is not the best way to handle such a crisis. However, our moral and legal responsibilities to fulfil the Dubs amendment go way beyond 350 children’.
Mr Burrowes went on to reassure the House that, as the Home Secretary has stated, ‘The scheme has not closed’ and as it is a matter of statute ‘the Dubs amendment still stands’. He closed his speech by calling on the Government to find ways to ‘widen’ the offer, ‘not least for the 3,000 unaccompanied Nigerian children - most of whom the anti-slavery commissioner found to have been trafficked - that arrived in Italy by sea last year. I urge the Government to take our responsibilities seriously, keeping the Dubs amendment wide open and ensuring that we can keep on the path of safety for these child refugees.’