WINDRUSH, Grenfell, Universal Credit and the hostile environment for migrants – not the best of achievements for anyone to list on their CV, but they are indelible items on that of one Theresa Mary May, our soon-to-be former prime minister.

In her tearful departure speech outside Number 10 on Friday, she said she had “striven to make the United Kingdom a country that works not just for a privileged few but for everyone”, but she is unlikely to have shed any tears for her victims – families torn apart by restrictive and, in many cases retrospective immigration legislation or a Dickensian benefit system.

May was the architect of the hostile environment as the longest-serving Home Secretary in over a century, with her immigration policy described as “poisonous” in august and conservative publications such as the Financial Times.

She frequently worked alone, only delegating when something went wrong, most frequently when the quarterly immigration figures were released.

Then she would despatch her Immigration Minister James Brokenshire to explain why the net migration figures had not been slashed, as promised.

Her toxic policies led to around 33,000 families in Britain being split up because they did not meet the required minimum income threshold

Since The National – and now The Sunday National – came into being, we have covered extensively the heartbreaking failures of a broken UK immigration system which has seen families torn apart and asylum seekers detained for months awaiting deportation.

They include a young lesbian who feared she would be forced to marry a man should she be sent back to Namibia; and an Olympian from the Central African Republic who had been beaten by authorities there and whose application included pictures of murdered family members and medical documents confirming the rape of others.

Other examples form part of the rise in the number of “Skype families” when couples are forced apart, often on another continent, after experiencing the inflexible absurdity of the UK’s immigration policies.

Even a Kenyan NCO serving in a Scottish regiment of the British Army had problems getting a visa to bring his daughter to live with him and his new wife in the Highlands – until we stepped in.

Usman Aslam is a lawyer with the immigration team at the Glasgow legal firm of McGlashan MacKay, and has been involved in some of these cases and many more.

He told The Sunday National: “Perhaps Theresa May’s tears were really the tears of those who suffered under the appalling Home Office policies and practice. Perhaps these should represent the tears of the families who have been torn apart, or those vulnerable asylum seekers kept in detention for indefinite periods.

“It is astonishing that she stayed in power for so long. People should not forget the nasty ‘go home’ vans that were driven around the UK targeting immigrants. People should not forget it was under her power that we saw one of our history’s biggest immigration scandals with the Windrush generation being forced out. The scale of that tragedy is incomprehensible.

“It is under her so-called leadership that people have to fork out, or borrow tens of thousands of pounds to renew their visa applications. The visa process in general has gone out of control.

“Despite numerous statistics about immigration and asylum, she created polices that were shaped to try and drive out immigrants, despite the overwhelming contribution they make to our economy.

“For example, the majority of appeals are over turned at appeal stage, in fact, I can honestly say that at least 80% of appeals are won by us at appeal stage ... decision-making is clearly flawed, yet there’s no change.

“The Family Reunion Bill, that is so important to family reunification for refugees, has an enormous amount of support from MPs and the public, passed the second reading and is now at the committee stage, yet the government have done everything to delay it – even though there is no evidence to go against it.

“These are the damning facts that people need to remember when considering Theresa May as a Prime Minister and as ex-Home Secretary.”

Nazek Ramadan, director of Migrant Voice, can look at the bigger picture across Britain, but it still is not pretty.

“Theresa May’s time as Home Secretary was marked by a series of unjust policies that continue to ruin the lives, families and futures of people in this country,” she said.

“It was during those years that the Home Office introduced the ‘go home’ vans, the salary threshold that forces families to live apart, the end of legal aid for immigration cases, the ‘deport first, appeal later’ approach, the extraordinary ramping up of visa and citizenship costs, sowed the seeds of the Windrush scandal, and made the devastating decision to strip more than 35,000 international students of their visas without scrutinising the evidence against them, a failure detailed in a National Audit Office report published yesterday.

“Theresa May’s legacy as Home Secretary is a toxic hostile environment that demonises migrants, punishes the innocent, and turns ordinary citizens into unwilling border guards.

“This legacy must be urgently dismantled.”

In Scotland the list of shocking failures of immigration policies continues to grow.

Earlier this month, Lassaad and Hela Sbita and their four children, who had repeatedly been refused right to remain in the UK, won their case following the intervention of South Scotland SNP MSP Emma Harper, who took it up with the First Minister, supported by the Holyrood’s Migration Minister Ben MacPherson.

The National: The Sbita family with Emma Harper MSP (far left)The Sbita family with Emma Harper MSP (far left)

The family’s permission to work had been revoked – a common feature of immigration cases – and they could not afford the ever-increasing fees the Home Office demanded to process their application.

In their case the fees were more than £6000.

TAXI driver Keith Webster, from Portlethen, near Aberdeen, has been refused a visa for his wife Susan Martinez, from Arizona, and has spent thousands on visa and legal fees. They are still fighting.

American Judi Colaianni and her husband, Edinburgh plasterer Tony Duffy, are carrying on a transatlantic relationship after her visa was refused, as well as a subsequent appeal.

The authorities said Duffy, who is self-employed, did not meet the £18,600 minimum income requirement, which the Migration Advisory Committee has recommended be raised to £30,000 post-Brexit – a figure the SNP has described as an “unreasonable”.

Colaianni said she felt used by the UK Government: “They welcomed me and my money with open arms to allow me to study and finally find a place where I felt most at home and a person that made me excited for my future like everything was finally falling into place.

“But as soon as that degree was completed, I had to fight to stay in my new home. Unfortunately, we lost the battle.”

Some people, have had no option but give up and simply leave Scotland, such is the mental and financial strain of going through the labyrinthine visa process.

Jason and Christy Zielsdorf lived in the village of Laggan in the Cairngorms, with their five children, and bought and ran the lifeline store there, which was familiar to millions of TV viewers as McKechnies’s in the BBC series Monarch of the Glen.

They had lived here since 2008 and invested around £300,000 in the shop, but were devastated after falling victim to draconian immigration regulations and, after a lengthy and expensive battle, failed to secure indefinite leave to remain.

The family were devastated when they were forced to sell up and return to Canada two years ago. Others have spoken of the mental toll of fighting the system, which has resulted in some, even long-settled migrants, hospitalised.

Many of the battles arose in the Highlands, in areas of the country which the government was apparently keen to repopulate – just as long as it wasn’t with foreigners.

One of the most documented cases involved the Brain family – Gregg, Kathryn and their now 10-year-old son Lachlan – who fell victim to retrospective changes to the rules on post-study work visas and faced being deported back to Australia.

The National: The Brain familyThe Brain family

Their protracted battle with the Home Office was taken up by The National, their MP Ian Blackford and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

They spent thousands of pounds on legal and Home Office fees to extend their visa and had to resort to a crowdfunding appeal as their right to work had been withdrawn.

In 2015 Gregg said they lost more than £26,000 in income because of the prohibition and incurred huge expenses.

He told The Sunday National he would not be shedding any tears for May: “We were just one family to lose their jobs and their home, and be plunged into debt over broken government promises.

"But we’re luckier than some, because we’re still here. After shedding no tears for the thousands of lives that she’s ripped apart, watching her cry over losing her own job was unsatisfying. Frankly, I’m worried. Her replacement is likely to be even more populist than she was, and her hostile environment is likely to hold sway over Scotland for some time yet.”