AN SNP candidate who has direct experience of the UK asylum system has hit out at new Tory plans for immigration.

New proposals for immigration reform would see people penalised for travelling to the UK via routes deemed illegal if they have previously travelled through a country that they could have claimed asylum in first.

The plans have been described as the "biggest threat to refugee rights in the UK" for decades by the Scottish Refugee Council (SRC) that also criticised Home Secretary Priti Patel for creating a "two-tier" system with the new proposals.

The SNP candidate, who is topping the Glasgow regional list at next week's Scottish Parliament election, has slammed what she calls "toxic migration policies" from the Tories.

READ MORE: Call to simplify 'complicated and expensive' legal routes to UK immigration

Roza Salih (below, campaigning with Nicola Sturgeon) is a Kurdish-born human rights activist who now lives in Glasgow after arriving in Scotland in 2001 as asylum seekers from Iraq. She co-founded the Glasgow Girls, a group that campaigned to stop dawn raids by the UK Border Agency and the deportation of children.

The National:

Salih said: "Having been through the UK's asylum system - and experienced first hand how deeply flawed it is - I am appalled that the UK government are planning on doubling down instead of fixing the issues.

"Scotland has made it clear it wants nothing to do with Boris Johnson and Priti Patel's toxic migration policies and wants an asylum system based on the principles of fairness, dignity and respect.

“We highlighted this once again following the recent dawn raids that took place in Glasgow, which were a total infringement of basic human rights. 

"These practises and new proposals show the harsh reality of the Tories' hostile environment. Their consistent attempts to roll back, or simply abandon human rights obligations and break international law are a disgrace. Sadly, putting hostility over humanity is now the norm for this Tory government.

"Only the SNP has the strong leadership to stand up to inhumane Tory plans such as this, the bold policies to kick-start our recovery from the pandemic, and put Scotland's future in Scotland's hands - not Boris Johnson's."

Meanwhile, the SRC, Poverty Alliance and the Church of Scotland are among 67 signatories of a letter sent to Downing Street today opposing the Home Office's new plans for immigration.

They argue that the Home Office’s plans for immigration system reform pose a “fundamental threat” to people’s right to seek asylum in the UK and could contravene UN conventions on refugees.

The letter argues that the new UK plans for immigration run contrary to Scotland’s own plans.

​READ MORE: 'We are very afraid': Father, 67, taken to hospital after Home Office dawn raid

It states: “We are concerned that the New Plan does not take account of this huge commitment in Scotland to support integration and community cohesion and the desire to play a role as a responsible global citizen with regard to refugee protection.

“The New Plan runs counter to Scotland’s internationally recognised New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy which strives to ensure equal support to people across Scotland regardless of how refugees arrived in the country.”