A Labor MP made a powerful point in the Commons on Thursday over missing asylum-seeking children in Britain, criticizing the government’s “ignorant” approach.
The government admitted this week that 200 of these vulnerable children have gone missing from temporary hotel accommodation – some of them under the age of 16.
When a member of the Green Party summoned Immigration Minister Robert Jenrick to parliament to explain these reports, Labour’s shadow Northern Ireland secretary, Peter Kyle, took aim.
He said he had only received hours’ notice that 76 unaccompanied children were being held in a hotel within his constituency of Hove.
Labor MPs then went on to visit this accommodation, and told the Commons, “To suggest that these are specialist facilities is ignorant,” with the minister claiming that the government was still meeting its obligation to protect our children.
Kyle continued: “In the days that followed, I myself saw and met the kids there, but some of them were extremely vulnerable, finding themselves emotionally vulnerable, vulnerable if they should leave the premises to commit crimes. were.
“So I contacted the council, I contacted the police, I contacted social services, I contacted their department at the Home Office – the only organization that responded, I believe, effectively and with the kind of seriousness that We hope, it was Sussex Police.
“But they lacked the facilities and the resources and the powers to do the work required.
“It is wrong to say that these children are not driven to crime because last year Sussex Police chased a car which collected two children from outside this hotel.
“When they managed to get this car to safety, they released the two child migrants, and arrested the man driving it, a gang leader who used to force children into crime.” went there.”
He continued: “I accept that the world would stop if a child, who belonged to one of us in this room, were to go missing, an uncomfortable truth for us.
“But in the community that I represent, one child went missing, then five went missing, then a dozen went missing, then 50 went missing, and today there are 76 missing and nothing is happening. .
″So my question to the minister is, what will be different from before when I go to the hotel next time in the coming days?
“If nothing is different they will keep disappearing.”
Jenrik confirmed during immediate questioning that 13 of the 200 missing children were under the age of 16, and one was female, and that about 88% of the missing came from Albania.
They claimed: “The activities of people under the age of 18 inside and outside the hotel are monitored and reported, and they are accompanied by social workers when participating in organized activities.”
“We have no power to detain homeless shelter-seeking children in these settings,” he said.
Green Party MP Caroline Lucas also criticized Jenrick over asylum-seeking children.
“It is terrible. Vulnerable children are being dumped by the Home Office. Many of them are going missing… We are asking the Home Office to implement some basic safeguards so that we can keep them safe. “
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is facing fierce criticism over his handling of immigration.
One group of critics believes it is not protecting Britain from “illegal” migrants who arrive on British shores in small boats and another thinks the government is not properly processing “legal” migrants. Still working.
Late last year, a migrant holding facility came under government scrutiny for poor living conditions, and faced legal threats from campaigners before the site was cleared.
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