Scotland must fight and defy racist anti migrant bill

Westminster's racist anti-migrant bill must be stopped.

Scotland must be prepared to fight and defy the UK government’s racist and extreme anti-migrant bill, says the Scottish Green justice spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP.

The bill, which is being debated in Holyrood today (Tuesday 27th June), dismantles the idea of asylum and removes rights that have existed for decades. The Joint Committee on Human Rights has highlighted that it is currently incompatible with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The bill effectively reverses the 2014 ban on child detention and will give the UK Government powers to imprison children in immigration centres and remove unaccompanied children to a third country where they have no connections, while preventing Scottish Ministers from complying with their obligations under the Europe Convention on Action Against Trafficking.

Ms Chapman said:

“This bill is the most extreme and racist piece of legislation I can remember. We must be prepared to fight it every step of the way, including in the international human rights courts, if it comes to that.

“If this bill is introduced it will remove the rights of thousands of refugees and people seeking asylum. It will deny support for many legitimate refugees and victims of modern slavery, without even the dignity of having their case heard. 

“It is not just immoral, it also flies in the face of international law. It rides roughshod over people’s lives, it seriously undermines devolution, and it tries to force local authorities and others to ignore their international obligations and the rights of people they are providing services for.

“The Scottish Government and our Parliament must stand with local authorities, public bodies and third sector agencies who, despite the immense hostility of the Home Office, are doing invaluable work with vulnerable people.

“Scotland is a nation of immigrants, and immigrants are an important part of our country’s future. We want to be open and welcoming to those who seek refuge here, wherever they come from.”