News / Europe

Britain to Cap Non-EU Immigrants

Would be Illegal immigrants to Britain stand in line waiting for a meal supplied by a humanitarian association  in Calais, France. (file photo)
Would be Illegal immigrants to Britain stand in line waiting for a meal supplied by a humanitarian association in Calais, France. (file photo)

Britain attracts students and workers from all over the world. In fact,  immigration is the fastest contributor to Britain's population growth. Many say the influx is straining the country's social welfare system.  The new coalition government plans to introduce a cap on the number of immigrants from outside the EU. Critics of the proposal say the proposal will not do much to curb the growing numbers as more than 85 percent of immigrants are from EU nations. Some immigrants will go to extreme lengths in order to remain in the country and explore possible effects of the government's proposed immigration cap.

Bogus marriages

British authorities are cracking down on sham marriages, where a European Union national marries someone from outside the EU so that person can remain in Britain.

A vicar in southern England was recently convicted of carrying out more than 360 fake marriages.

"We're seeing cases where typically perhaps a West African national, who's not in the EU, marries an EU national, whether they be Dutch, French, Portuguese, Spanish and they then get all the rights, so they have a vested interest in marrying an EU national," explained Sam Bullimore, with the UK Border Agency.

Bullimore says it has become an industry, where a "facilitator" can earn more than $10,000 for each bogus marriage. Clergyman Tim Codling started working with the police after he was inundated with marriage requests he thought were dubious. During one ceremony he started reciting the names of train stations instead of vows, and the bride, who clearly did not understand English repeated after him.  Codling says a parallel law system makes churches an easy target.

"The Church of England is more attractive because you don't have to go through the same sort of checks as you would have to go through if you made an application in the secular system,"
Codling noted.

Fake colleges

Bullimore says another scam that immigrants are using are fake colleges, which sponsor student visas.

"We're seeing plenty of instances where colleges are opening, they have capacity ostensibly for 5,000 students or there'll be 5,000 students applying for places in that college and the college itself may, upon being visited, only have room for 200," Bullimore said.

Prime Minister David Cameron's government is trying to cut down on immigration from outside the European Union. It has put a cap on the number of immigrants who can enter the country, a little more than 24,000 per year. The rule is an interim one, but expected to become permanent next April.

Criticism, praise

The policy has been criticized by a group of Nobel Laureates who say it will discourage promising students and scientists from coming to Britain and threatens Britain's reputation as a leader in research.  Business leaders say it will prevent businesses from recruiting the best international talent. Car manufacturers here have warned the same thing.

Alp Mehmet, with the research group Migration Watch, approves of the government's cap. He believes immigration numbers are getting out of control.

"It's not immigrants, what we want is a sustainable number, a number, the numbers coming in here at a rate that they can integrate, they can become a part of this society rather than groups within society," Mehmet said.

Britain has a long history of taking in immigrants, and the capital is full of diverse ethnic neighborhoods like Brixton, in South London, home to many of Caribbean descent who came here in the 1940s.  About 176,000 immigrants a year come to Britain, the new prime minister wants to reduce that number to the tens of thousands, but has hinted to businesses here, he might relax the cap on skilled workers to keep Britain open for business.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid