Speaking to Radio Forth News about the incident, the Cabinet Secretary for Health & Social Care said: "I think the UK Government are part of the problem”.
“Every time the UK Government and the Home Secretary put up a barrier up to people who have every right to claim asylum, they’re pushing these people into the hands of the smugglers - and potentially to their deaths”.
In the interview, he stressed that claiming asylum is a right that every individual has under international law.
He added: “I think the UK Government should take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror. They should do what is morally right and that is not putting up barriers as they are intending to do with future legislation”.
Mr Yousaf’s comments come after a dinghy attempting to cross the Channel from France to the UK capsized on Wednesday, killing 27 people.
After originally reporting that 31 people had died, the French regional maritime authority revised the death toll and said that 27 people had died. French interior minister Gerald Darmanin said the dead included five women - one of whom was pregnant – and a young girl.
Two survivors were rescued and received treatment in a French hospital.
Authorities in France have arrested four suspected people traffickers in connection with the incident and an investigation into aggravated manslaughter has been opened.