Labour peer Lord Dubs has called on the UK to be “more sympathetic” towards migrant children after the body of a Sudanese teen was discovered on a French beach.
The 16-year-old Sudanese migrant was found dead on Wednesday morning after officials were told a makeshift boat had capsized at sea.
Home Secretary Priti Patel, who has pledged to make the route “unviable”, said the death was “an upsetting and tragic loss of a young life”.
“This horrendous incident serves as a brutal reminder of the abhorrent criminal gangs and people smugglers who exploit vulnerable people,” she added.
Lord Dubs, who fled the Nazis on the Kindertransport, called on Patel to adopt a more welcoming stance towards migrants, particularly those with family in the UK.
“There’s also the point we should be more sympathetic to some of the children who want to come here, often to join relatives in this country, and so it’s up to Priti Patel to say ‘look we’ll welcome these people, if they’ve got family here particularly, some of them may be unaccompanied, and cooperate with France to bring them over’,” he told Sky News on Wednesday.
He added: “It’s very simple, and I have an amendment to the immigration bill. It’s coming up in September. All she has to do is to agree to it, and then we’ll be fine.”