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Latin America (Refugees)

Volume 972: debated on Monday 29 October 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will make a statement on the Government's policy towards refugees from Latin America.

I have reviewed the policy relating to refugees from Latin America. The programme, which was introduced by the Conservative Government in 1973 following events in Chile, has resulted in the admission of over 3,000 refugees. The number of applicants and people admitted under the programme has dwindled over the past year and other pressing demands on our capacity to absorb refugees have grown, in particular with our commitment to resettle a large number of Vietnamese refugees.I am therefore closing the special programme for Latin American refugees. But I will continue to consider individual cases where there is a strong indication that the United Kingdom is the natural choice of country for resettlement and the Government will continue to pay close attention to the question of human rights in Latin America.