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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid