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Taking Cues from Trump, UK Quietly 'Shuts Door' on Child Refugees
09 February 2017, 11:03 | Erica Roy
Amber Rudd has been accused of trying to “cut and run from child refugees”
Theresa May was accused of being on the "wrong side of history" last night after a scheme to bring vulnerable child refugees to Britain was shut down.
The minister said the government paid local authorities £41,610 per year for each unaccompanied asylum-seeking child aged under 16 and £33,215 per annum for those aged 16 and 17.
"The Dubs amendment was created to help the most vulnerable child refugees of all - those with no family to look after them who are incredibly vulnerable to trafficking or exploitation".
The government will close the route into Britain created for child refugees by the Dubs Amendment, the Home Office announced today, although just 350 children have been relocated under its terms rather than the thousands expected.
Labour MP Yvette Cooper, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, said: "The Government is completely wrong to close down the Dubs scheme and they are going against the spirit of Parliament's amendment previous year".
It has been revealed that a scheme which helped to bring many unaccompanied refugee children to the United Kingdom is being scrapped just months after it was established. "At the end of December past year the government had failed bring a single child refugee to the United Kingdom under the Dubs scheme from Greece or Italy where many of these children are trapped".
Dubs said the decision was particularly depressing given current immigration policy in the U.S. and said he would commit to pressuring the government to accept more children: "I think it's very depressing in the light of what Trump is doing not to accept the children".
Tim Farron, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, said, "May's treatment of refugee children is appalling, and shows how close she has moved to the policies of Trump".
About 200 children have arrived in the United Kingdom under scheme since it took effect in October a year ago, with another 150 expected before it ends. The Home Office says 50 local government places are needed for family reunion cases involving children transferred from the clearance of the Calais camp that do not work out.
Help Refugees, one of the British charities working in France, had already launched legal action against the government's handling of Dubs.
A further 700 unaccompanied children had arrived in the United Kingdom under separate EU-wide rules created to reunite families.
"As required by the legislation, we have consulted with local authorities on their capacity to care for and support unaccompanied asylum-seeking children before arriving at this number".
David Simmonds, chairman of the Local Government Association's Asylum, Refugee, and Migration Task Group, said: "Councils demonstrated tremendous leadership at a local, regional and national level in resettling the children from the Calais camp".
"The Dubs amendment was created to help the most vulnerable child refugees of all - those with no family to look after them, who are incredibly vulnerable to trafficking or exploitation".
The British government has quietly announced the early closure of one of its child refugee programs.
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