More needs to be done to reunite refugee families and to put in place fair and efficient processes so that those who are entitled to, can join family in the UK, particularly children. As we know, unaccompanied migrant children are highly vulnerable to trafficking, sexual exploitation and other forms of abuse.
In the last Parliament, during the passage of the Immigration Act 2016, a number of attempts were made to review the rules around family reunion for refugees including options for extending the criteria. It is incredibly disappointing that the government rejected these proposals and reiterated that it has no plans to extend the family reunion criteria.
The manifesto I stood on at the General Election in June promised to produce a cross-departmental strategy to meet our international obligations on the refugee crisis, and I hope this is something that the government will urgently consider and do something about. We need effective action to alleviate the refugee crisis and continue to uphold the proud British tradition of honouring the spirit of international law and our moral obligations by providing a safe haven for refugees.
I will continue to follow the government’s response to the refugee crisis closely.