Home Office Go Home Campaign

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th December 2013.

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Photo of James Dornan James Dornan Scottish National Party

I am going to continue it, yes. As many members know, I was over seeing my brother get married on Wednesday. Michael is an immigrant to Portugal. He has been there for nearly 40 years and has made a life for himself. However, more interestingly and because it is right that we recognise clearly that there is a distinction between immigration and asylum, Michael’s partner, Raul, stayed in London because he was a refugee from Salazar. He could not go back until the dictatorship had fallen, and that is when they moved over to Lisbon.

People we know are affected by asylum and immigration all the time, which made me think about the issue on a personal level. The difference between asylum and immigration must be at the forefront of the debate, because the two have been conflated by politicians for their own ends and we must acknowledge that there is an important difference.

I first heard of the campaign when a constituent contacted my office to tell me about the posters. Like most people to whom I have spoken and like everybody who has spoken in the debate so far, I was appalled that such messages were being used at all and particularly in Scotland.

I wrote a motion and wrote twice to the Home Secretary asking her for justification for the posters, but I am still waiting on a response. I feel a bit peeved: Kezia has had one and Nicola has had one, but I have not had a response from anybody.