Now it plans to use increased devolved powers to set up a “new model of asylum ” which critics warn would attract “large numbers” of new immigrants to the country.
The new powers, proposed by the Smith Commission, could allow SNP ministers to make sweeping left-wing reforms to the way asylum seekers access support and homes at the expense of the taxpayer.
During the independence referendum, senior SNP figures promised that a Scottish Asylum Agency would be set up in an independent Scotland, while the Dungavel detention centre would be shut down.
They want to end both dawn raids and the practice of detaining asylum seekers whose applications to stay in the UK have been rejected.
Concerns have been raised that these plans could now be carried out using the new devolved powers, making Scotland a “soft touch” for immigrants and burdening the country’s .
Campaigners said that a more relaxed system in Scotland could also act as a gateway into the rest of the UK, which is currently struggling to control levels of immigration.
Alp Mehmet, vice-chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “Asylum and immigration are inextricably linked in the minds of most people. Any perception that there is a ‘softer’ system in Scotland could undermine public support for genuine refugees.
“It would almost certainly attract large numbers of claimants, as Sweden has found.
“Given that there are no border controls, asylum seekers – whether they are genuine or not – are very likely to head south to jobs and large immigrant communities.”
Sweden is currently the only country in the European Union which allows asylum seekers the right to work immediately.
It has seen the number of asylum applications rocket from 44,000 in 2012 to 74,000 last year.
It came as the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon offered an olive branch to all those who voted No in the independence referendum by claiming that the SNP can help to “unite” the country.
She said: “Scotland only wins when the SNP wins.”