Author-Evening Times Online
The UK Government has been urged to “follow Scotland’s lead” in continuing to welcome refugees from Syria.
New figures show the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) has seen 18,676 people fleeing from Syria resettle in the UK, with Scotland welcoming 17% (3,180) of those.
In 2015, the UK Government committed to taking in 20,000 Syrians driven from the war-torn country by 2020.
SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said: “Scotland has a long history of welcoming refugees and asylum seekers from all over the world, and as a nation we have stepped up to meet our global responsibilities in tackling the refugee crisis.
“Our ambition for Scotland is an unashamedly international and outward-looking country. And it’s heartening to see communities across Scotland welcoming those fleeing conflict in Syria with open arms.
“By contrast, the UK Government has neglected its responsibilities – instead choosing to ramp up their anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies to make the UK a hostile environment for those who want to come here, or have no other choice.
“With Boris Johnson as Prime Minister, that’s only set to get worse.
“The resettlement programme is about helping families in desperate need to build secure lives, and helping people fleeing trauma to feel safe.
“The UK Government must do more to follow Scotland’s lead, and to build a fair and humane immigration system.”
A spokesman for the Home Office said: “The UK has a proud history of providing protection to those who need it.
“Over 17,000 refugees have been resettled in the UK through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme – and we are on track to meet our commitment to resettle 20,000 by 2020.
“We remain fully committed to resettling refugees under a new global scheme set to start in 2020, giving thousands more people fleeing conflict and persecution the opportunity to build a new life in the UK.”