Hundreds gathered at the Glasgow Trades Hall today to take a stand against the UK Government's new Nationality & Borders Bill.

The 'anti-refugee' bill, which was passed by the House of Commons in July 2021, would see the criminalisation of refugees who arrive in the UK via ‘unofficial routes’ and house people seeking protection in ‘off-shore detention centres.

READ MORE: New demand to stop ‘destitution by design’ of asylum seekers

Today's event marked the start of a UK-wide week of action organised by Together With Refugees, a coalition of over 300 organisations campaigning for a fairer asylum system.

A series of talks celebrating the work of community groups across the country who support new Scots were held as well as a powerful placard demonstration.

Glasgow Times: Pictured: Chief Executive of The Scottish Refugee Council Sabir ZazaiPictured: Chief Executive of The Scottish Refugee Council Sabir Zazai

Chief Executive of the Scottish Refugee Council Sabir Zazai said: “Scotland has always had a reputation of being a welcoming society.

"We still remember that chanting from Kenmure street.

"Refugees are no different to anyone else. The only difference is that they’ve lost everything that they once had through no mistake of their own.

"It's men women and children who are seeking protection say from regimes like the Taliban.

"We cannot criminalise them which is what the nationality and borders bill is suggesting."

Zazai, who himself came to the UK as an asylum seeker from Afghanistan, said that it is time for our focus to shift towards what refugees could bring to our local communities rather than fearing what they might take.

Glasgow Times: Pictured: Badges made the message clear at yesterday's eventPictured: Badges made the message clear at yesterday's event

He said: “Since Glasgow began opening its doors to people seeking protection we’ve seen many great examples of people rebuilding their lives in our society and making contributions. 

READ MORE: Asylum seekers in Glasgow say £5 a day is not enough to live on

"There are people who are taxi drivers, bus drivers, nurses or teachers because we have invested in their integration.

"If we invest in people coming to the UK then they will also be our friends, neighbours and colleagues.

"If refugees do well, we all do well.

"I would call on people to stand with us and be part of our campaigns.

"We have to remind our politicians that their policies are not in our name and we will stand up to them."

The Nationality & Borders Bill will be considered by parliamentary committees in September.

The Scottish Refugee Council encourage you to follow them on Twitter @scotrefcouncil or search the hashtag #togetherwithrefugees to keep up with their campaign.