I'M a New Scot and I believe in independence.

Thanks to the EU, I moved to Scotland feeling like I belonged here. It was supposed to be home. My part in the fight for Scottish independence is my way of trying to keep this country a home for people like me.

Freedom of movement is the only reason that so many working-class families and young people are able to migrate, to escape poverty or domestic violence, to see the world, or to give our all to our new homes in search or a better life.

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The Scottish Government’s welcoming message towards immigrants is what led me to believe this country might be different to many that I and my family have lived in. It gave me hope that this might be the country that I can finally call home.

For me and so many others it can be. Independence is now our one and only shot to ensure that Scotland can deliver on the global reputation it is building as being an open, welcoming, and internationalist nation.

Having grown up all over the world, inter-changing the word "expat" to "immigrant", to "third culture" and back again to summarise my identity, I came to find a word I like much better: New Scot.

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Scotland is special. Scotland does not take for granted the contribution that immigrants can and do make to our society. Scotland recognises that a flourishing economy is inclusive of people from every background. Our politics has grown beyond immigrant-baiting. We’ve grown to recognise that Scotland needs more people of more diverse stories.

This belief means that Scotland is on a different path to the rest of the UK. A path that means breaking away from a Union that denies its past. Instead venturing towards becoming a nation that learns from it. Scotland will become a nation that embraces our history, allowing it to teach us the invaluable lessons of the damage that can be done by insular, far-right politics. Wilful ignorance is our greatest danger. We must always be conscious of our darkest memories, acting on what we have learned: to value all people, in our case, old and New Scot alike.

And while I do continue to feel welcome in Scotland, sentiment only means so much.

There is still the cloud overhead in the form of a Tory UK government, constantly reminding me that xenophobia is on the rise and that they are doing everything they can to get rid of many in my family.

While this is all political, we must never forget that for some of us this is profoundly personal. This will determine the future of our lives and livelihoods.

I have Polish, German and Irish ancestry, all one generation removed. People like me live as as an example of the fact that Europe is a continent that embraces immigration and the sharing of culture. This is only made truly possible by the European Union.

My family, like so many others, came to Scotland to seek a better life. My mum is a carer for people with dementia. We have come to this country to contribute, to play our part in civic society.

In a time when there are NHS staff shortages and we must be doing everything we can to save our NHS – turning away immigrants who are more than willing to give their lives in this country to helping others is nothing short of counterproductive idiocy.

It is now time for Scotland to stand up for what it believes in, and for our politics to make its way back home, to the EU. We need our European values to push us to stand shoulder to shoulder and fight for our European friends' right to their home in Scotland; and for all of our home as a nation in Europe. This can only be done through independence.

Scotland, let your messages of solidarity and your EU profile pictures turn into Yes votes. The sentiment needs to materialise. Now or never, it’s time for us to welcome all EU citizens as New Scots and find a welcome for Scotland at the heart of Europe.

Cailyn McMahon, Young Scots for Independence Women's Officer