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Scotland to have regional director for immigration

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Tony McNulty, the Home Office minister in charge of immigration, will unveil proposals to create a new regional director's job for Scotland.

Scotland will have its own regional director for immigration and the new post will deal specifically with the improved treatment of immigrants and refugees.

A separate inspection and complaints service will also be set up, but the main task will be to deal with asylum seekers and refugees seeking to immigrate to Scotland.

The move follows pressure from the Scottish Executive and direct lobbying from Jack McConnell, the First Minister who stressed the need to protect children during notorious dawn raids on asylum seekers.

Mr McNulty also said the role of the police in immigration matters will be downgraded, with their place taken by carefully vetted immigration officials.

There should be for any case, a professional from whatever background, education, social services, for example to be a liaison point with us in all cases, said McNulty.

He added the new scheme would provide a model for the rest of the UK.

Subsequently we'll take that forward in the rest of the UK, but there is no compelling reason why such a good idea shouldn't be taken forward now and that's again at the behest of the Scottish Executive, said the minister.

Mr McNulty praised the role of the police in assisting with immigration matters.

We want to get to a stage where the Immigration Service is doing more of this kind of work rather than the police, he said.