I’ve blogged about this before, but the UK Coalition government’s proposals to restrict the immigration of spouses of British nationals just came a step closer to being enacted. Though packaged as a measure against forced marriage, this is a proposal that will drive into exile or separation many people whose personal income falls below the £25,700 threshold and who happen to have been unlucky enough to fall for a non-EU citizen. Sheer evil. The Guardian:
British citizens with foreign-born partners are to be given the choice of indefinite “exile” in countries including Yemen and Syria or face the breakup of their families if they want to remain in the UK, under radical immigration changes to be announced next week, MPs have been told. The home secretary, Theresa May, is expected to confirm that she will introduce a new minimum income requirement for a British “sponsor” without children of up to £25,700 a year, and a stringent English speaking test for foreign-born husbands, wives or partners of UK citizens applying to come to live in Britain on a family visa. Immigration welfare campaigners say that the move will exclude two-thirds of British people – those who have a minimum gross income of under £25,700 a year – from living in the UK as a couple if they marry a non-EU national. They estimate that between 45% and 60% of the 53,000 family visas currently issued each year could fall foul of the new rules.
It is hard to have any hope that the Liberal Democrats might decide this is a line they cannot cross, but they have to be put under pressure. People have to write to their MPs of whatever party and make their disgust known, as well as trying to get the Labour Party in the shape of Chris Bryant and Yvette Cooper to take a stand (rather than trying to be more nationalist than the Tories). I wonder also whether the academics who are members of the UK Border Agency’s Migration Advisory Committee shouldn’t be being asked tough questions by their academic colleagues and urged to resign.