It has been great to see a debate which includes a focus on poverty, inequality and foodbanks. Sadly, in Govan we are tired from years of supporting refugees seeking asylum that are forced into destitution, evicted from their homes and refused all support from the state. We see people struggling to survive a government controlled asylum process which has a culture of disbelief and which denies access to just asylum decisions.
We want people to be treated with dignity and respect and crucially, to have access to justice because a just assessment of an asylum claim can be a matter of life or death.
The Scottish Government’s Independence White Paper proposes a more independent asylum regime which distinguishes between immigration and asylum and would separate decisions made on asylum by creating a separate Scottish Asylum Agency. It promises an approach that is more humane and is based on human rights and equality, with an end to dawn raids and closure of Dungavel detention centre.
The Better Together campaign do not appear to propose any change to the current asylum regime, there has been no indication that any further devolution will affect this.
Many of our newer neighbours in Govan are here because of war and conflict. We hope that whatever the result of the referendum an outcome is a more peaceful Scotland which respects and invests in our right to seek asylum.
Please let us know if you live within the Govan and Craigton area and need support to vote on Thursday 18th September. We can help with answering questions about the voting process, helping you to find your polling station and we would also be happy to drive you there ourselves – whichever way you intend to vote!
Find out more at this week’s drop in or by contacting us on 0141 445 3718 / firstname.lastname@example.org
David Reilly, Chair Govan & Craigton Integration Network.