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

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go 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.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More