Lord Alf Dubs is not giving up after an amendment he proposed, which would bring 3,000 child refugees from Syria and neighboring countries to the United Kingdom, was rejected by the government.
Dubs was a child refugee himself. The House of Lords member arrived in London as a six-year-old, fleeing a Nazi-invaded Czechoslovakia, with the help of Sir Nicholas Winton, dubbed the “British Schindler” for helping over 600 mostly Jewish Czech children flee to Britain.
“All the other Jews we knew went to concentration camps — the ones who stayed in Prague — and the majority didn’t survive,” Dubs told the BBC.
The House of Commons rejected the amendment to an immigration bill Monday night; some MPs said it was too expensive. The amendment had been put up for consideration in the House of Lords.
Both chambers of the British parliament must approve a bill in order to enact it.
The House of Lords is planning to discuss a new amendment, which would allow for an unspecified number of children refugees to enter the country, rather than the original 3,000.
Dubs said the positive feedback he has received keeps him motivated to continue fighting the battle.
“I’m now getting so many messages from people I don’t even know, saying how much they want this to succeed. It’s really struck a chord: it’s caught the public’s imagination that as a country we can do something for these children,” he told the Guardian.
Josefin Dolsten is a news fellow at the Forward. She writes about politics and culture, and edits the Sisterhood blog. She received an MA in Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a BA in Government from Cornell University. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @josefindolsten.