I started one of those government petition things – to get the Government to debate the Dubs Amendment again. This is the Amendment which says the UK will allow child refugees from Syria into this country. It originally had a target of 3,000 on it.
Here’s the link – please please sign it and advertise it as widely as you can.
The 3,000 figure was in David Cameron’s time, and now the number the government is permitting to allow in is 350. This deals only – and I emphasise, only – with those children who were already in Europe before March 2016. Those since are not permitted. That number – ie the number of kids seeking refuge before March 2016 – is 130,000. We are permitting 350 of them.
Why no more than that? Partly because allowing more than 350 would act as a “magnet”
That is, the Government think that if we allowed in more than 350 out of the 130,000 that are have been stranded in Europe without protection before 2016, families in Syria might abandon their children and make them walk hundreds of miles, or go on perilous sea journeys without supervision to this country – despite the fact we are not letting in any children post march 2016
I call that a pretty thin argument.
We are told we can’t afford them. To my knowledge there are thousands of families who have said they will take them in free of charge. The government even set up a Sponsorship Scheme to allow people to do this. But the administration and on-costs are not, it seems something we are willing to pay as a society.
When we adopted our son, we took him out of a foster home of four other children. One was nine, and had severe behavioural issues. One was eight and still had to wear a nappy – because of emotional trauma which he had not been addressed. Our own, beautiful, wonderful son, was so desperately in need of a family. I met them all, and wanted to take them all home with me. I would have done it if I could, even though it would have been hell to deal with, because they had no chance of a decent future.
I look at these children, covered in dust and fear, vulnerable and alone, and I see my children. I see children I never had, but wanted, I see children who are the brothers and sisters of my own wonderful son, I see children made in God’s image, and who are pulling at my heart. They are my responsibility, and they are yours.
We talk about privilege as though it’s a bad thing. It’s not. I am a very privileged person. I am privileged to be in a position to exercise power and responsibility for these children. You see, they look around them, at others in their position and feel despair. But we look at them, and we see the power we have to change minds, to change policy, to change the law, to change governments, and we are privileged with the one thing they do not have – hope.
Please, exercise your privilage. They are my children. They are yours too.