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by Louise Wilson
24 May 2021
Glasgow immigration raid ‘what the British public have voted for’ says Priti Patel

The two men were released after a day-long standoff between immigration officials and the local community in Glasgow's southside

Glasgow immigration raid ‘what the British public have voted for’ says Priti Patel

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said the UK Government will continue to approve immigration raids, insisting this is “what the British public have voted for”.

This is despite a cross-party group of Glasgow politicians, including Nicola Sturgeon and Anas Sarwar, writing to the government calling for an end to unannounced raids.

It follows a stand-off between the local community on Kenmure Street, Glasgow and immigration enforcement two weeks ago after the Home Office attempted to detain two men suspected of outstaying their visas.

The letter, signed by 27 people, insisted that Scotland had a “very different attitude to immigration” and criticised dawn raids for being “expensive, harmful, lacking in compassion and more often than not aimed at people who are no threat to public safety.”

But following a major speech in which Patel outlined the UK Government’s immigration plan, she was asked if the Glasgow incident had made her rethink the approach.

She said: “In response to Glasgow and the removal of people that had no legal right to be in the UK, I’ve already said we will continue to do that, that is effectively what the British public have voted for, [what] they want.”

The SNP has hit back at the comments, with immigration spokesperson Anne McLaughlin MP saying Scotland “absolutely did not vote for these cruel immigration raids”.

She added: “The people of Glasgow and elsewhere in Scotland have made it abundantly clear that they will not stand by and let the Home Office ramp up these inhumane raids.

“We have made it clear we want a humane migration and asylum system that works for Scotland based on fairness, dignity and respect.”

Among plans for a post-Brexit immigration model is the well publicised points-based system and a US-style Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme for people coming into the UK, which the Home Office said will make it easier to ban foreign criminals.

Patel said the approach would be “fair but firm”, and the government would implement a “generous and compassionate approach to those in need.”

She added: “The system will prioritise public protection by making our borders more secure.

“Those who play by the rules and seek to come to our country legally will encounter a system that is straightforward and fair.”

The Scottish Greens have branded the Home Office “institutionally racist” and co-leader Patrick Harvie warned communities in Glasgow would continue to oppose raids.

He said: “Until Scotland has the powers to build our own system, we can continue to resist the brutality of the Home Office.

“We must resource our communities, so they are able to actively resist, and support those organisations who are operating on the front line to support asylum seekers, refugees and all migrants in our community.”

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