READING the White Paper last week, Pinar Aksu, a 26-year-old community worker at Maryhill Integration Network in Glasgow, felt afraid for the future.

A former refugee from Turkey who came to Scotland with her family to seek asylum more than 15 years ago, she has seen the harsh end of the immigration system first-hand.

As a child she was detained first in the Dungavel detention centre in South Lanarkshire and then in Yarl’s Wood removal centre in Bedfordshire for more than two months.

Child detention has since ended but overall Aksu does not believe the system has improved. Now she fears it’s about to get intolerable.

“This is going to make life impossibly hard for people in the asylum system,” she says. “It’s going to make it easier to detain and deport people that the [Home Office] do not accept. I know people being put into detention and their mental health really suffers.”

She says the language of the paper is “divisive and racist” and what’s left out in regard to asylum speaks volumes. “There is no mention of war, there is no mention that the UK is also bombing countries and selling weapons.”

And the paper is not only going to make lives difficult for asylum seekers but for thousands of migrants and their families, adds Aksu, who has also previously worked for campaigning group Migrant Voice. The idea that £30k is a suitable threshold strikes her as unworkable.

“There are people who are teachers or nurses who don’t earn that. So many people here in Scotland don’t earn that. How do they expect new arrivals to get jobs at that rate?

It feels like something from the Hunger Games. “This is going to have a huge impact on people’s lives. But this is not about lives – this is about numbers.”