Illegal Seaborne Migration - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:51 pm on 5th June 2019.

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Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department, Minister for Equalities (Department for International Development) 4:51 pm, 5th June 2019

I recognise exactly the point made by the noble Lord about the welcome that refugees and asylum seekers have had and how welcoming organisations such as the Church have been. Starting with the most reverend Primate the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church has been very generous in terms of community sponsorship schemes for new arrivals, for which we commend it. Throughout our debates, we have been clear—and I think that Parliament has recognised it—that in respect of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, for example, we will ask local authorities to take only the number that they have the capacity to hold. In places such as those talked about the noble Lord—for instance, Folkestone—the national redistribution scheme has been in place for some time, because it cannot be incumbent on one single local authority to take all the new arrivals. Local authorities have been very generous to this end.