Here's what you can do...
On the 25th April the "Dubs Amendment" to the Immigration Bill will go back to the Commons for a vote. Lord Dubs was one of the thousands of Jewish children brought from the Kindertransport in 1939 from Germany, and he created an amendment to the Immigration Bill to bring 3,000 unaccompanied children FROM EUROPE to England. This amendment was passed in the Lords by a majority of over 100 peers, but now it's going back to the Commons to be voted on by MP's. Winning the vote will involve persuading Conservative MPs to vote with their consciences, rather than their party, or at the very least, to sit on their hands and allow the Dubs amendment to pass.
Despite Tory arguments of "pull factor", these children are ALREADY in Europe, they're already in danger, living in dirty camps or disappearing into the hands of traffickers. 50% of those polled by Save The Children have an STD. (Yes). Europol reports that 10,000 unaccompanied children are suddenly unaccounted for since their arrival in Europe. This is an important moment in history, where we have the power to save 3,000 children's lives. Let's make sure we are standing on the right side of it.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
If you live in a Conservative constituency, pleaseemail your MP encouraging them NOT to vote against the Dubs amendment. You can tell them that Europe is NOT a "safe country" - children are at risk of exploitation and trafficking, as evidenced by the high numbers of STD's documented by Save The Children and the disappearances from unofficial camps such as Calais.
You can tell Conservative MPs that the existing systems to try to claim asylum are broken: the Dublin III amendment by which children with relatives in Britain can be reunited is impossible to access without specialist legal help. Of the 150 children with potential actionable cases in the Calais camp, less than 10 have been able to exercise their rights, and then only after months of waiting in a dirty camp and the intervention of pro-bono lawyers. And of the other 200 (still remaining) - they continue to live in unimaginable circumstances, forced to choose between the traffickers and the train tracks.
You can remind Conservative MPs that asylum and immigration are not the same thing. These are children, not economic migrants.
If you live in a constituency which is Labour, Liberal, Green, SNP or otherwise, please email your MP encouraging them to TURN UP AND VOTE for the Dubs amendment.
If you care enough to donate an hour or two of your time, you can always write to or email a Conservative MP without being a constituent - although they will have no requirement to answer you - but you can tell them that this is not a constituency issue, it's a pressing humanitarian issue that needs their consideration. And the sheer volume of emails/ letters thudding into inboxes should help remind MPs that the eyes of the public are upon them. If you'd like more information on how to make your time worth while, please PM me on Facebook.
You can identify your MP here: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/
Please sign the cross-party petition here: http://www.refugeetaskforce.org/
We've got less than two weeks. Let's make them count.
Read Tess Berry Hart's latest blog post in its entirety here.