Sunday, 19 August 2018 05:53


The SNP has renewed calls for the devolution of powers over migration – arguing that the Home Office is “failing Scotland” with its refusal to talk to MSPs, its damaging anti-migrant policies, and the growing list of high profile examples of individuals coming up against the Tories’ hostile environment.

The Home Office has made clear in recent weeks that it will no longer work with MSPs on individual cases – whether the case has been raised by a constituent or not, adding greater uncertainty to many people already facing worries about their ability to remain in the UK.
Migration cases which have been raised in recent weeks and months include:

  • Olya Merry, a young mother from Belarus who was ordered to leave the UK by the Home Office, before being granted the right to remain in the UK with her Scottish husband and young daughter, but for only two and a half years;
  • Denzel Darku, a student nurse born in Ghana who carried the Queens baton before the 2014 Commonwealth Games, who was threatened with deportation only to have the decision reversed after a public outcry;
  • Duc Nguyen, a human trafficking victim who was threatened with deportation from Glasgow;
  • Sheena Halfpenny, a Gaelic teacher from Nova Scotia who, despite being the only candidate for a recent vacancy at Bunessan Primary School, was denied a visa to live and work in the UK;
  • Giorgi Kakava, a ten-year old orphan from Georgia, who was threatened with deportation with no concern for his safety, until the Home Office recently granted him the right to remain in the UK for only two and a half years;
  • The Brain family, who were left in limbo due to the Tory changes to the post-study work visa;
  • The forced removal of over 300 asylum seekers from their homes in Glasgow by UK government contractor Serco.

Commenting, SNP MSP Shona Robison said:
“The Home Office is failing Scotland – hurting industries such as the soft fruit sector, and damaging public services such as our NHS – and that’s before we’ve even felt the full impact of Brexit.
“Their point-blank refusal to even respond to MSPs about cases that we are bringing forward on behalf of concerned constituents is utterly shameful – and a clear effort to force people out of the country in their drive to meet senseless net migration targets.
“We’ve seen the terrible treatment of young Giorgi Kakava, of the Brain family, of Denzel Darku, Olya Merry, Duc Nguyen and the asylum seekers being forced out of their homes in Glasgow – the list goes on and on, all victims of the hostile environment.
“The best solution to all these issues is for the Tories to devolve powers over migration to the Scottish Parliament, as Holyrood has backed – and give us the ability to create a migration system that values all that migrants have to offer, not just economically but also culturally and socially.
“If the Home Office don’t have the resources or the desire to speak to MSPs about cases we’ve brought to them, then they should give the Scottish Parliament full powers over migration – and allow us to handle it in a way that benefits our communities and supports people who want to make Scotland their home.”
‘Home Office tells MSPs: We won't talk to you about immigration cases’
‘Sajid Javid urged to halt Serco eviction of Glasgow asylum seekers’
‘Campaigners fight to stop deportation of trafficking victim Duc Nguyen’
‘Glasgow 2014 baton holder faces deportation’
‘Brain family can stay in UK says Home Office’
‘Orphan threatened with deportation after mother's death granted temporary leave to remain’
‘Home Office tells mother she can stay in Scotland - for now’
‘Pupils still without teacher as visa application fails’

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