Tories treating migrants with contempt - time for powers to be devolved

The Home Office’s continued refusal to answer questions on immigration matters from MSPs is completely disrespectful to the constituents who have gone to their parliamentarian for help, SNP MSP Bob Doris has said – after he received a dismissive email saying they would not speak to him about young orphan Giorgi Kakava.

Bob Doris wrote to Sajid Javid last month asking for him to grant Giorgi Kakava permanent citizenship in the UK – after the Home Office only granted him right to remain for two and a half years. Giorgi is a 10-year old orphan from Georgia, who had to flee the country with his mother when he was a toddler. His mother sadly passed away during the asylum process earlier this year – and Giorgi is currently being cared for by his grandmother.

The SNP MSP has now replied to Sajid Javid saying that this case is about how the Home Office treats vulnerable and orphaned children, adding that the failure to answer key questions about Giorgi’s status in the UK simply because the letter came from an MSP is deeply disrespectful to Giorgi and his grandmother.

Bob Doris has also reiterated SNP calls for powers over migration to be devolved – while calling on Sajid Javid to engage directly with him about how children such as Giorgi can be better cared for within the existing system.

Commenting, Bob Doris said: “This kind of response shows just how heartless the Tory Home Office is.

“It isn’t about disrespecting my office as an MSP – it is deeply disrespectful to the families who have come to MSPs looking for help and support, as Giorgi and his grandmother have done.

“To not even acknowledge my request for the permanent right to remain in the UK for young Giorgi is appalling – and shows that there is no sign of a quick end to the ‘hostile environment’ policy.

“This is clearly an immigration policy matter – it is about how the Home Office treats vulnerable and orphaned children. On the basis of this response, they appear not to care about Giorgi or anyone else that is counting on them for help.

“I hope that Sajid Javid engages with me about how they can better treat young people who find themselves in situations such as Giorgi has – because it’s clear the current system isn’t working in their interests.

“If the Tories don’t want to support vulnerable young people, we have a government in Scotland that does – and they should urgently devolve powers over migration to Scotland, as the Scottish Parliament has called for, so we can end the hostile environment and start treating people with the respect they need and deserve."


Home Office response to Bob Doris (13th August 2018):

Dear Mr Doris

Thank you for your letter to the Secretary of State of 18 July on behalf of Master Giorgi Kakava about his immigration matter. Your enquiry has been passed to me to produce a response.

The Home Secretary takes the view that, as immigration is a matter reserved for the Westminster Parliament, engagement with Westminster MPs on constituent’s immigration cases is the most appropriate route to follow. Furthermore, the Home Office currently receives in excess of 45,000 letters and 18,000 phone calls from MPs per year on immigration matters and is, by far, the biggest recipient of constituency case correspondence in Government. Responding to these requires significant resources from within the department that would otherwise be deployed to resolve cases and this approach to enquiries from devolved administrations reflects the need to improve efficiency by reducing the duplication of enquiries.

In practice this means MP Account Management Teams will not reply to any immigration matters about individuals that you might raise but we will of course continue to respond to any matters relating to immigration policy or non-case specific issues.

Master Kakava’s case has been brought to our attention by his Westminster MP who has received a full response.

If you do not want to make use of these channels and still want personally to represent Master Kakava, please let us know and we will pass your enquiry to the public enquiry team who will provide you with a response.

Bob Doris reply to Sajid Javid (15th August 2018)

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