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by Jenni Davidson
28 May 2021
Angus Robertson calls for the Home Office to take a ‘more humane approach’ to immigration enforcement

Angus Robertson - Image credit: Danny Lawson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Angus Robertson calls for the Home Office to take a ‘more humane approach’ to immigration enforcement

Angus Robertson has written to Home Secretary Priti Patel calling for the Home Office to take a “more humane approach” to immigration enforcement.

This follows a recent dawn raid by immigration officials in the Pollokshields area of Glasgow, which was blocked by the local community.

The Cabinet Secretary for Constitution and External Affairs said that a “more humane approach to immigration enforcement” was required that does not involve the “heavy-handed approach” of raids.

Robertson writes that he accepts that migration needs to be controlled but that enforcement in Scotland “must be carried out with due regard to the safety of our communities and be aligned to our values of dignity, fairness and respect”.

He also criticises Patel for comments suggesting that those who opposed raids were protecting murderers, rapists and high profile offenders, saying that “inflammatory and divisive rhetoric” was not “helpful”.

In speech to a think tank, Patel had stated: “I have a message to those who seek to disrupt our enforcement officers – they should think about whether their actions may be preventing murderers, rapists, high-harm offenders from being removed from our communities and they should think long and hard about the victims of these crimes.”

She has also suggested in an interview on the Andrew Marr Show that the SNP would like an immigration policy of “open borders, no checks when it comes to criminals coming to the UK, and no border controls”.

Robertson wrote: “We both know that it is inaccurate to suggest that all those subject to immigration enforcement have been linked to criminality.

“Clearly there will be some cases where swift action needs to be taken to remove individuals who present a risk, but as the events at Kenmure Street showed, individuals facing deportation are often valued members of communities they have been part of for many years.

“Many of those subject to immigration enforcement have committed no crime and are no threat to the public, having simply exhausted their appeal rights.

“A more humane approach to immigration enforcement is required, one which reflects the views and values of Scottish communities and does not involve the heavy-handed approach of raids which are disruptive to our communities, are inherently divisive, risk public health and take up valuable police resources.”

Responding to Robertson’s comments, a Home Office spokesperson said: “The UK Government continues to tackle illegal migration and the harm it causes, often to the most vulnerable people.

“We are bringing forward a new plan for immigration that is fair but firm, will stop abuse of the system and remove those who have no right to be here.”

“The public rightly expects us to remove those who have no right to be in the UK. 

“The simple reality is it is not possible for everyone who wants to come and live here to do so.

“It would not be fair to the people of this country, whose taxes fund public services and who have made it clear that they want control.”

Read the most recent article written by Jenni Davidson - The Holyrood baby: More likely to live in poverty now than the day she was born

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