When Lakhvir Singh and Sumit Sehdev, the two men at the centre of Thursday’s failed dawn raid, were detained, neither had active legal representation.

Jelina Berlow Rahman, one of the lawyers representing Mr Singh, said: "Lakhvir Singh has been here since 2008, a substantial period of time, therefore in my opinion he still has a right to a private life, a family life. It was evident the number of people who came together, that was his community, that was neighbours, that was his friends - the majority of people knew him”.

Lawyers are currently investigating their cases. The Home Office has referred to the men as “illegal”. Firstly, it’s not possible for a human being to be illegal. That term is in keeping with the Home Secretary’s hostile attitude towards refugees and migrants, all part of the Hostile Environment.

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Such dehumanising, tabloid terminology has no place in a progressive society. Certainly it’s not appropriate to use for people who have lived in the UK for several years, and are part of a community. The fact that Lakhvir and Sumit had no active legal representation means they were left vulnerable. They now have legal representation, and are in the process of trying to regularise their status. More importantly, they are not criminals, just innocent people trying to build a new life.

And what’s wrong with that?

Scotland needs people to contribute to its tax base. We should be helping them to contribute those taxes, not forbid them from working, reduce them to a state of destitution , stigmatise and then criminalise them for having hopes and aspirations that fit with our society’s needs.

Right now, many hundreds of people in Glasgow - and thousands across the U.K., are left in the same invidious position of not having the right piece of paper. I was born immigrant (not Scots), it’s the only way to describe my life and experience, and I remember seeing through a child’s eyes, without understanding, the panic and rush in my father and mother’s demeanour to get us the right piece of paper as the latest news headline reported the government of the day threatening to clamp down on us.

“They were in our country for a hundred years, now we are barely here and already they want us out”, my mother would say in a tense way.

Many of this city’s immigrant population are working or studying on the same wing and a prayer.

Overseas students are struggling to pay their exorbitant university fees because of the Lockdown which shut down restaurants. If fees become overdue, Universities send reminders and invoke the threat of immigration removal.

Immigrants on limited leave to remain are working in the NHS or elderly care homes and struggling on low pay to save up the several thousands they need to pay the Home Office when their temporary leave to remain runs out. If they don’t make that payment, they risk losing their job, their (rented)home, their status.

Everything they worked so hard to build as immigrants begins to crumble.  Not because they are “criminals”. Because of a piece of paper with an expired date on it that costs thousands to renew. And then the fear of removal becomes 24/7 and real.

How many more vans are going to go out in our city? People are frightened. They have no place going into our communities and dragging innocent people from their homes. Perhaps Police Scotland should focus on going after real criminals, instead of helping U.K. Borders Agency frighten innocent people who don’t have a costly piece of paper with a date on it just to keep immigration happy.

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The events of Thursday make it crystal clear that Westminster’s  Hostile Environment has no place 400 miles away in Glasgow. 

The “Kenmure Street Van Man” who crawled under the immigration enforcement van and played for time to stop this detention seeks no reward or recognition or to be a known “name”, Even more reason for us to celebrate this remarkable young man and learn from him.

Robina Qureshi, executive director of Positive Action in Housing, a Scottish refugee and migrants' homelessness and human rights charity