Photographer: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP via Getty Images

U.K. to End Refugee Program After Taking 350 Children

  • Britain has reached capacity for lone migrants, May says
  • Lawmakers pressed Cameron to introduce program in 2006

Theresa May’s government will end a special refugee program after taking 350 children, saying Britain has no capacity to take any more.

In 2016, May’s predecessor David Cameron was forced to introduce measures to take unaccompanied children from within Europe, after an outcry from lawmakers. At the time, Cameron had faced calls to take 3,000 children. On Wednesday, the government announced in a written statement that local authorities could only take a fraction of that number.

“The feedback that we’ve had suggests that we can deal with 350 children,” May’s spokesman Greg Swift told reporters.

The announcement drew an immediate reprieve from the main architect of the program: Alf Dubs, who as a child fled the Nazis to Britain. He drew a comparison between a travel ban the U.S. administration is seeking to implement and the U.K. government’s latest restriction.

“At a time when Donald Trump is banning refugees from America, it would be shameful if the U.K. followed suit,” Dubs said in an e-mailed statement.

(Corrects date of program in second paragraph.)
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