Home Secretary Amber Rudd has revealed that Britain took in 8,000 ‘unaccompanied minors’ last year, and blasted outrage over the Dubs scheme closure as having been fueled by “fake news”.
Ms. Rudd defended the government’s decision to terminate the Dubs scheme, which aimed to secure a route to Britain for some of the estimated 90,000 ‘child refugees’ from the third world living in Europe, on ITV’s Peston on Sunday after a press and celebrity onslaught regarding its closure.
After a series of high profile controversies — including a string of assaults and that many of the so-called children appeared to be well over 17 – and noting councils have limited capacity, the Home Office announced it would be scrapping the scheme after relocating a total of 450 people under the Dubs amendment.
Outraged campaigners slammed the move, saying they expected at least 3,000 migrant youths living in Europe to be resettled in the UK under the scheme. But Ms. Rudd on Sunday revealed the country has already taken in huge numbers of them including 3,000 who entered Britain illegally.
“Ok, just in your question it shows that, unfortunately, the ‘fake news’ is settling out there,” the Home Secretary said in response to criticism from presenter, Robert Peston, over the scheme’s closure.
“The fact is we took 8,000 children last year into this country and settled them; 3,000 arrived unaccompanied and illegally and have been settled here. These numbers are large…
“Where are the most vulnerable children? Are they in the region or are they in France, Italy, and Greece? They’re in the region. That’s why we’re focusing on the region.”
The home secretary also emphasised that evidence points to the fact that the Dubs route was incentivising people traffickers — noting how, following the amendment’s adoption, “what happened in Calais is the number of children doubled in three weeks.
“How did that double? Because traffickers brought them there and the age of children began to fall because we said we’d take the youngest children first.
“If you set up a system of taking children from Europe, the traffickers will bring you the children. It’s not the right thing to do.”
Ms. Rudd also pointed out how the British government has set up a £10 million fund to help migrant youths in European camps, as well as the fact the UK took in 900 so-called refugee children from the Calais camp “as a one-off” when it was closed last year.
But this is not enough according to the amendment’s architect, Lord Alfred Dubs, who told the Independent he would continue the fight to get young migrants transported to Britain.
In addition, more than 200 figures, including potato chip salesman Gary Lineker and actress Keira Knightley, branded the scheme’s closure “truly shameful” in an open letter to Prime Minister Theresa May which likens ‘unaccompanied minors’ living in Europe to Jewish children in 1930s Germany.