Saleem Family (Leave to Remain)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 7th November 2019.

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Photo of Emma Harper Emma Harper Scottish National Party


Saleem family—Muhammad, Razia, Fatima and Saira—have been resident in the Dumfries area for the past 13 years, but they are currently being spilt up by the Home Office, which has granted temporary leave to remain to only one member of the family, the youngest daughter. The family are attending immigration court tomorrow in Glasgow, where staff from my office will be attending to speak in support of the case for their right to remain in Scotland together as a family. In the absence of any sense from either the Home Office or the Secretary of State for Scotland, can the First Minister join me in fully condemning the actions of the Home Office in this case, and can she confirm that, in an independent Scotland, we will have a humane, dignified and person-centred approach to immigration?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

I thank Emma Harper for raising the issue. In fact, I think that I may have met the Saleem family on Monday when I visited Dumfries. If their case is before a court over the next few days, I will be limited and careful in what I say, but I will say that they seemed a lovely family and a credit to this country. More generally, I want Scotland to have an immigration and asylum system that is humane and that encourages people to make a home in Scotland and a contribution to Scotland. One of the many benefits of Scotland being independent is that we get the chance to build that kind of country and that kind of society, with that kind of approach to immigration, which would be much better and very different from the disgraceful hostile environment that the Tories preside over.