Asylum Seekers

Part of First Minister's Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 12:00 pm on 29 March 2007.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour 12:00, 29 March 2007

Bill Butler is aware that I have a long-standing personal interest in the issue. I believe strongly that we need a firm but fair and consistent immigration policy and a consistent but strong approach to assessing the applications of asylum seekers to establish who are genuine refugees and should therefore be allowed to stay in the country. At the same time, there are a number of families, particularly in Glasgow, who have been in this country for a long time. Their children have grown up here and they regard themselves as Scots rather than people who have recently come here. That is why I believe that those legacy cases, as they are known, are so important.

We have received a commitment from Home Office ministers that the cases will be properly looked at. I welcome that commitment, and I want to ensure that when it is implemented due care is taken in relation to the futures of those young people. Their contribution in our schools, particularly in some of the most deprived parts of Glasgow, to raising standards and even in some cases to leadership as prefects and in other positions of responsibility has been admirable and successful.

Alongside a fair but tough immigration policy, I want to see a proper, sensitive and considered approach to those who would be considered legacy cases—as a result of which I would expect many of them to be allowed to stay.