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19 December 2016, 05:35
The Scottish Minister for International Development and Europe has praised the contribution of migrants to the Scottish economy, saying the UK Government's focus on a net migration target is "wrong for Scotland''.
Alasdair Allan met groups working with refugees, migrants and asylum seekers at an event in Glasgow to mark the UN's International Migrants Day.
He also met people from across the European Union who are living in Scotland at the celebration at Pollokshields Burgh Hall on Sunday.
He criticised the Conservatives' target to reduce net migration to tens of thousands a year and said Scotland's 369,000 migrants help boost the population and workforce.
Mr Allan said: "We value the significant contribution of those who have chosen to make Scotland their home, and we embrace a culturally diverse community that enriches Scotland's intellectual, social and cultural life. International Migrants Day is an opportunity to recognise the rights of migrants and to send a warm message of welcome.
"The UK Government's focus on arbitrarily reducing net migration irrespective of what value migrants might bring, what skills shortages they could address, or what contribution they could make to our economy and society, is wrong for Scotland and is harming our economic prospects.
"Scotland's needs are different to those in the rest of the UK. Scotland has a large, established migrant community and we welcome the contribution new Scots are making to our economy and society.''
Mr Allan watched a performance from the Maryhill Integration Network's Joyous Choir, which is open to all women and helps support the charity which is aimed at bringing communities together through art, cultural and educational groups and pledges to "encourage cross-cultural understanding and celebrate diversity''.
He also saw a dance from the Colours of Life international dance group, which performs traditional folk dances from across the world.