Comment on Amber Rudd's resignation

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Sabir Zazai, Chief Executive of Scottish Refugee Council responds to the resignation of Amber Rudd from the Home Office.

"The Windrush scandal has opened people’s eyes to the impact of the hostile environment and the chaos and heartlessness of the UK’s immigration system. This system is overseen by a Home Office obsessed with numbers and unable or unwilling to consider the needs of the men, women and children behind the data.

"At Scottish Refugee Council we see the fall-out from this approach every day as individuals and families in complex and often vulnerable situations come up against an unyielding bureaucracy that sees numbers not people; targets instead of families. With the hostile environment now affecting UK citizens, we are all caught up in this and, if we don't speak out against it, complicit in silently endorsing it.

"Amber Rudd had no choice but to resign after overseeing this latest crisis but we shouldn't just expect a dramatic change of direction from a Home Office overseen by Theresa May who initiated these policies in the first place. 

"Today we call on the new Home Secretary to immediately roll back the ideological, socially divisive and destructive hostile environment behind the Windrush scandal, and any legislation in the 2014 Immigration Act that legitimises it.

"We need a fair, compassionate, evidenced, and transparent immigration policy that sees the person not a piece of paper. Windrush reminds us that behind the numbers are real people,some seeking refugee protection, some seeking to reunite with loved ones in the UK and all the other complex variations of living in the modern world. These are ordinary people with hopes and aspirations to rebuild their lives in dignity and with their human rights upheld. The Home Office is blind to this and blind to the wave of empathy we've seen across the country as people open their doors and communities to welcome new arrivals and help them make their homes here. One thing the Home Office has achieved is uniting many many communities across the UK in horror at its policies and in saying of the hostile environment - not in my name."