The “xenophobic language” on display by the Government has left the public “totally disgusted”, the SNP has warned.
The SNP’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson told the Prime Minister that “even Ukip” believed the rhetoric has gone too far.
Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Robertson pointed to Home Secretary Amber Rudd’s ditched proposal to force businesses to list the foreign workers they employ.
He also highlighted the controversial advertising campaign launched by Mrs May when she was home secretary, which told illegal immigrants to “go home”.
Mr Robertson said: “May I remind the Prime Minister that when she was home secretary she put advertising vans on the streets of this country telling foreigners to go home. And at her party conference we heard that her party is wishing to register foreigners working in the UK.
“The crackdown and the rhetoric against foreigners has even led to Ukip – Ukip – saying that things have gone too far.
“Can I tell the Prime Minister that across the length and breadth of this land, people are totally disgusted by the xenophobic language on display from her Government?”
Mrs May defended the proposal discussed by Ms Rudd to make UK businesses list their foreign workers, insisting it was “never the policy that the Home Secretary announced”.
“There was no naming and shaming, no published list of foreign workers, no published data,” she said.
Instead data will be collected to ensure skills training is meeting demand, she added.
Mr Roberston urged Mrs May to ensure her Government, and all political parties, “do everything they can” to oppose xenophobia and racism following a rise in hate crime.
Mrs May said: “There is absolutely no place in our society for racism, there is absolutely no place in our society for hate crime.
“It is right that the police are investigating allegations of hate crime where they occur.
“We should, with one voice from across the chamber, make that absolutely clear and give our police every support in dealing with this.”