Mark Conrad 06 March 2017

Councils can take 4,000 unaccompanied child migrants, MPs claim

Councils have the capacity to take up to 4,000 unaccompanied child migrants providing that they are handed central Government cash to support any new scheme, MPs have reported.

The home affairs select committee (HASC) today published a report into unaccompanied child migrants following the Home Office’s recent, and surprise, decision to abolish the Dubs Amendment to the Immigration Act 2016.

The amendment required Britain to take-in a specified number of unaccompanied child migrants who had already reached Europe from areas such as Libya or Syria.

The Home Office last year said the number of children that could be supported under the Dubs Amendment would be capped at 350.

However the HASC, which is chaired by senior Labour MP Yvette Cooper, reports that it has been told councils have the capacity to take-in many more child migrants – and up to 4,000 if ministers are prepared to fund a new regime.

It followed evidence provided to the committee by the Local Government Association (LGA) and some individual councils.

The HASC reports that the evidence provided by town halls ‘cast some doubt’ on how thorough the Government’s consultation with local authorities had been when ministers decided on the maximum figure of 350 children.

‘It was suggested that a further 4,000 places might be made available if additional central government funding could be provided,’ the HASC reported.

The MPs have urged the Home Office to undertake a fresh assessment of councils’ capacity before the Dubs Amendment is officially withdrawn.

For more on the Dubs Amendment read our feature, 'Whitehall's war on unaccompanied minors'.

Photo: Procyk Radek / Shutterstock.com

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