Speaking for Ourselves

Immigration policies that work for all

Immigration policies that work for all


 Migrant Voice -
 Migrant Voice - Immigration policies that work for all

We welcome the Scottish Government’s discussion paper that outlines an immigration policy tailored for Scotland. It is a policy that benefits both the host population and migrants, and is based on attitudes and principles that would benefit the UK as a whole. Most important of all, it shifts the current mean-spirited controversy about migration numbers in these islands onto a more confident, open-hearted, generous-spirited plane:

“Migrants contribute to our economy by bringing new skills and fresh approaches. Without their contribution Scotland's economic growth will suffer.”

Furthermore, it recognises that attitudes towards migration cannot be restricted to a narrow cost-benefit analysis: “By welcoming people to live, work and study in Scotland we can strengthen our society and enrich our lives.

“People from overseas who come to Scotland to live, to study or work, or to raise their families are our friends and neighbours. They strengthen our society and we welcome them.”

The tone of the document is as important as the specific policy proposals on issues such as post-study work visas for students and recognition of migrants’ family rights. It spurns the negative language of hostility, of restrictions, of exclusion and instead talks about growth, positives, and benefits.

Rather than advocating arbitrary targets and cuts – which cement unsubstantiated prejudices about there being too many migrants – it talks about migrants’ contributions. It is not the language of grudging “acceptance” of migrants, but of welcome.