While you will be aware that immigration is a reserved issue to the UK Government, SNP MPs at Westminster have been vocal in speaking out against the Conservative Government’s hostile environment and its fixation with migration targets.
Throughout the passage of this latest damaging Home Office legislation, the Illegal Migration Bill, SNP MPs opposed this Bill throughout and tabled a Reasoned Amendment in the Commons which sought to prevent the Bill from progressing any further.
My SNP colleagues Alison Thewliss MP and Stuart C McDonald MP both spoke during the debates on this Bill, calling on the UK Government to respect its obligations under international law and to introduce the safe and legal routes for asylum seekers which would damage the business model of the criminal gangs who profit from exploiting these vulnerable people.
The SNP also tabled numerous amendments aimed at removing the worst excesses of this Bill and ensuring that protections remained in place for victims of trafficking and smuggling.
During the most recent stages of the Bill as it moved between the Commons and the Lords, the SNP supported the amendments you mention aimed at protecting unaccompanied children and pregnant women as well as amendments aimed at preventing LGBT+ people being deported to a country where they could be at risk of persecution and calling on the UK Government to introduce safe and legal routes.
Sadly, despite some posturing from the Lords, they chose to step aside and allow this terrible Bill to pass. We must now wait and see what the Supreme Court decides on the Rwanda policy later this year.
The SNP are clear: the UK Government should drop its hostile environment approach and start living up to its international responsibilities towards asylum seekers, or if it will not, consider devolving the necessary immigration powers to Scotland to allow the Scottish Government to build an immigration system with fairness and compassion at its centre.