(JTA) — Britain is ending a program to take in child refugees proposed by a politician who arrived in the country by Kindertransport during World War II.
Proponents of the program had wanted the United Kingdom to take in as many as 3,000 lone child refugees, but the government said Wednesday that the initiative would end in March after the resettling of 350 children, according to The Guardian.
Alf Dubs, who was born in Czechoslovakia and arrived in London as a child by way of the Kindertransport rescue effort, proposed the program in the House of Lords last year.
Dubs, who previously served in the House of Commons for the Labour Party, called on Prime Minister Theresa May not to end the program, The Guardian reported.
“During the Kindertransport, Sir Nicky Winton rescued 669 children from Nazi persecution virtually singlehandedly,” he said, referring to an English rescuer of Jewish children during World War II. “I was one of those lucky ones. It would be a terrible betrayal of his legacy if as a country we were unable to do more than this to help a new generation of refugees.”
Immigration Minister Robert Goodwill said local authorities had stated that they could only resettle 400 unaccompanied child refugees until the end of March and the government had never committed to taking in a specific number of children.