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Haringey leaders roundly condemn government’s halt to child refugee scheme

PUBLISHED: 14:32 16 February 2017

Rabbi David Mason at a silent vigil outside the Home Office to call for reinstatement of the Dubs Scheme

Rabbi David Mason at a silent vigil outside the Home Office to call for reinstatement of the Dubs Scheme

Archant

Faith leaders in Haringey have joined their MP in condemning the government’s decision to stop vulnerable child refugees from entering the UK.

Lord Dubs      Picture: Katie Collins/PA Lord Dubs Picture: Katie Collins/PA

On Wednesday, ministers announced that 200 children had been brought in under the Dubs scheme and that it would close after another 150 were settled in the UK.

The Dubs amendment, designed by the Labour peer and former child refugee Lord Dubs, was last year debated in the House of Commons and the House of Lords to repatriate at least 3,000 vulnerable youngsters.

Catherine West MP, said: “It’s a real kick in the teeth to democracy. It seems very cruel as a lot of children are just floating around who are desperate for safe sanctuary.

With a rise in human trafficking it is not very safe for young people.

Catherine West MP Catherine West MP

She added: “I can’t understand why they have done this when parliament had such a long debate on it. The Home Secretary at the time was Theresa May and now she’s Prime Minister she’s allowing it to happen.”

Rabbi David Mason, from the Muswell Hill Synagogue, accused the government of window dressing. He said: “It’s shocking, it makes you feel that what they’ve done so far is window dressing, doing enough to make people think they are interested in helping child refugees because there clearly was an amendment, it clearly was about a sufficient number, Lord Dubs was absolutely clear about it. “Helping refugees is always going to be complicated business, never simple and at the same time that doesn’t mean we stop, that doesn’t mean we don’t persevere to get the right balance between ensuring we help people.”

He said the move “smacks abit of the Trump thing” with the American president saying because of terrorism, “we’re shutting the doors” but, he added: “Shutting doors shuts out a lot of people who should be united with families, and this is the same in a way, and I’m not sure that’s the narrative we want in Britain today.”

Bibi Khan. trustee secretary of the Wightman Road Mosque, said her community was devastated by the scrapping of the scheme with different groups, landlords and foster parents all being active in providing help for these vulnerable children. She said: “These are lone, vulnerable, traumatised orphans abandoned by our so called caring government.

“It is a disgraceful and shameful act to back track on commitments made to these children whose only crime is to flee from danger, war torn countries and who have been ripped apart from their loved ones and left to fend for themselves. How heartless can our ministers be? Can we imagine our children in such positions? Did our countries not play a part in this whole refugee situation?

“Accepting 350 is no where near the number that was promised of 3,000.

“The government should be ashamed but their actions seem linked to the sickening actions of the US government with the refugee ban. She added: “We believe that this is a despicable act by our government and should be objected to in our strongest collective voices.”

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