Immigration crisis all down to Tories - Tommy Sheppard

Of all the hateful policies of the UK Tory government, how they deal with immigration is surely the most despicable. Attempting to win votes from the far-right and to distract from their economic mismanagement, they portray migration as a problem, immigrants as hostiles.

Here’s two things they won’t say. First, every time people have migrated to another country it has been to the economic benefit of the place they go to. That’s because most migrants are fit people of working age without dependents. And people who travel halfway round the world for a better life have drive and gumption.

Secondly, without immigration, Scotland’s population will fall – dramatically. Our birthrate is now 1.31. For every thousand people about half are women; between them they will have 650 children. A generation later and the population plummets by a third.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Immigration isn’t caused by the Tories. But the immigration crisis is all them. The small boats, the involvement of organised crime, the overcrowded hotels, the horrendous waiting times for decisions. All down to the Tories. It was this government which closed most legal routes to seeking asylum. Save for a few specified countries, you must get here yourself and plead for sanctuary. When people started doing this in numbers, the government made it illegal.

Throughout history – from Chicago gangsters to the drugs crisis – prohibition doesn’t make the problem go away. It simply puts the management of it into the hands of criminals. The Tories talk about disrupting the business plan of the gangs who runs the small boats. It was the government who gave them their business plan!

People are detained in cheap unsuitable hotels for long periods of time because the government treats them as guilty until proven innocent. Bad for them. Bad for the host. Bad for the taxpayer. They should be processed as asylum seekers and allowed to work whilst their claim is investigated.

It will be interesting to see how many people fall for this nonsense in the coming election campaign. Certainly, my party will be arguing for a humane and compassionate immigration system and the powers to run it in Scotland.

Tommy Sheppard MP is SNP Scotland & Constitutional Affairs Spokesperson