Scottish Government launches new policies on asylum-seekers and refugees

The Scottish Government's new document "New Scots - Integrating Refugees in Scotland's Communities" was released on 9 December. The Scottish Government says that in an independent Scoland asylum-seekers would be allowed to work - something that asylum-seekers and their supporters have long campaigned for. However, it fails to address some of the serious problems confronting asylum-seekers in Scotland.
It doesn't promise support for asylum-seekers currently made destitute by the withdrawal of support when appeal is considered to be exhausted. It doesn't give any indication that housing will be provided for asylum-seekers by normal social landlords, instead of by prison contractors like SERCO (who currently provide housing for Glasgow's asylum-seekers). It doesn't acknowledge - let alone address - the barriers to integration presented by draconian "anti-terrorism" laws that criminalise whole communities. It doesn't acknowledge the barriers to integration created by the unfair handling of asylum claims (although the Scottish Government's Action Plan for human rights, released on 10 December, calls for a fairer process). It doesn't acknowledge the harm done to future Scots - and to their prospects for integration - by detention in Dungavel (although the Scottish Government's White Paper on Independence promises that Dungavel would be closed in an independent Scotland).

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