More examples of ‘soft touch’ Britain


by Sunny
18th April, 2010 at 9:07 pm    

Rather coincidentally to recent discussions on immigration, and email dropped into my inbox the other day.

We are two British wives of Moroccan nationals that are fighting for the right of our menfolk to come to the UK to be with our families here. We have both had our husbands refused due to our circumstances here in the UK… but our circumstances are similiar to other foreign immigrants that seem to be getting their spouses into the UK… So we are not happy.

Here’s their blog & website. I wish them all the best in their campaign. As I’ve said numerous times – this is the impact of all those people who keep arguing that Britain is ‘soft touch’ on immigration.


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  1. Rumbold — on 18th April, 2010 at 9:52 pm  

    We have both had our husbands refused due to our circumstances here in the UK

    It would be helpful if their circumstances were clarified, as we don’t know at present why their husbands were refused entry. If there isn’t a good reason, then that is wrong, but it would be nice to have some more information.

  2. Dan Dare — on 18th April, 2010 at 10:01 pm  

    It may have something to do with the fact that both are ladies of a certain age and their Moroccan spouses appear to be very presentable young chaps in their twenties.

    One is said to be a promising young footballer who is eager to come to Britain to take up a professional career in that field.

    This actually seems to be one those all-too-rare occasions when the immigration system is operating in a rational manner.

  3. Trofim — on 18th April, 2010 at 10:52 pm  

    This has got to be a spoof. Whyever wouldn’t they want to move to sunny Morocco!

  4. MaidMarian — on 18th April, 2010 at 10:53 pm  

    Rumbold – I may be repeating myself, but perhaps familiarise yourself with the Surrinder Singh Case. One of the worst things on the statute book.

    http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/ecis/chapter1.pdf?view=Binary

    In essence. If someone from an EEA OTHER THAN the UK country is in the UK on the basis of European rights, they can bring non EEA family over. UK citizens may not bring non-EEA family over as the UK gives its citizens a lower standard of family reunion than does the EEA.

    Now, as you say, it is a bit difficult to comment on this sitation, but there certainly is no god given right to bring spouses over. There is no case whatsoever for going back to the lunatic Primary Purpose Rule, however, as this case shows, there is no ‘automatic right.’

    There are standards for showing subsisting relationships, support and the like. Looking at the link, it is difficult to say, though is appears that at Christmas one of the women went to Morocco. ‘I was travelling to have my first Christmas with my new husband.’ That does not sound like a sustained relationship; though it is difficult to comment with so little information.

    Fair play for showing up that the UK is not the soft touch of common legend, though I can’t say – on the face of it – that this is the best example.

  5. Farley — on 18th April, 2010 at 11:12 pm  

    There is no natural entitlement to citizenship or residency of another country by marriage. Citizenship or residency is a privilege that can be granted or not by the government of the country in question, not presumed upon by the individuals getting married. If a person getting married can effectively decide that a foreign individual should have a passport because they are very fond of them, then why should not the rest of us have the right to give passports to foreign friends we are extremely fond of also? What gives married people this exclusive transnational privilege?

    If the most important thing to these women and their husbands is that they can stay together then I am sure they will be very happy together in Morocco, and good luck to them. A touching, romantic story. In matters such as this, it’s where your heart is that matters, and love has no country.

  6. MaidMarian — on 18th April, 2010 at 11:13 pm  

    Apologies for the second post.

    Having looked through the website, these people look to have just dived in recklessly and made no effort to look at the law surrounding what they were doing.

    This is not to say that I agree with every part of the law as it stands, but I do think that it is incumbent on these people to look and think about what they are doing, not least because I am struggling to see a subsisting relationship in this case. It may well be there, but I can’t see it described on the link in the article.

    A marriage certificate is not an exemption from immigration law, nor should it be.

    These people seem to have made some very blithe assumptions and whilst I do not like blaming the victims, they do seem a more than a bit culpable.

  7. Sunny — on 18th April, 2010 at 11:38 pm  

    If the most important thing to these women and their husbands is that they can stay together then I am sure they will be very happy together in Morocco

    Hold on – why shouldn’t they be allowed to move to the UK?

    Seems to me the argument against the hubands not being allowed to move here is only that they’re from Morocco. Say you fell in love with someone from the USA and got married – what if either country stopped you from moving in together? Is that fair?

  8. MaidMarian — on 18th April, 2010 at 11:45 pm  

    Sunny – The answer is yes.

    They should not be allowed to move to countries outside of established immigration laws. Or, put another way, they should look at what the legal requirements in particular countries are and make sure that what they are doing is within the law.

    The law and the human rights aspect of it is clear. There is provision for married couples in immigration law, there is no right however for marriage certificate = residency.

    This is not about ‘fairness’ (whatever that means). This is about taking reasonable steps to act within the law. I can’t see any evidence in the link that these people took any steps, still less reasonable ones.

    Sure, the law is complex and not very nice – I know, my non-EU wife and I went through it – but the sentence, ‘we love each other,’ is not a god-given right. Indeed, this case is even more dubious looking at the web link. The only sympathy I have is about the iniquity of the Surrinder Singh case, but many of us have to live with that rubbish.

    I am inclined to agree with Dan Dare that this appears to be a case of the system working, not failing.

  9. Farley — on 19th April, 2010 at 12:51 am  

    “Hold on – why shouldn’t they be allowed to move to the UK?”

    Why should they? Why do they want to?

    “Seems to me the argument against the hubands not being allowed to move here is only that they’re from Morocco.”

    Strawman. The argument is that they don’t have an automatic right. I’m not arguing that under no circumstances should Moroccans be allowed to move to Britain. By contrast you appear to be assuming that marriage grants one an automatic right to move to the country of one of the spouses, preferably a western one if one of the spouses is not western. I don’t believe in any such automatic right for spouses from any country to move to any other country. That’s not to say I am against any government using its discretion under certain circumstances to allow this, only that they are not automatically obliged to.

    “Say you fell in love with someone from the USA and got married – what if either country stopped you from moving in together? Is that fair?

    It’s not very nice, but neither country has an automatic obligation to allow it.

    Now I have answered your questions, would you do me the courtesy of answering mine?

    “If a person getting married can effectively decide that a foreign individual should have a passport because they are very fond of them, then why should not the rest of us have the right to give passports to foreign friends we are extremely fond of also? What gives married people this exclusive transnational privilege?”

  10. Farley — on 19th April, 2010 at 12:55 am  

    “but the sentence, ‘we love each other,’ is not a god-given right.”

    And that is all I am asserting also. It would be nice if we could all do whatever we wanted, and live wherever we wanted, but it’s not necessarily a sign of injustice if we can’t always automatically do so.

  11. Vikrant — on 19th April, 2010 at 12:58 am  

    Looks like a scam marriage to me! I’ve been buggered by illegal immigrants from south asia asking me whether i know of any indian-american girl amenable to such a match… for $10K ofcourse…

  12. Sunny — on 19th April, 2010 at 2:57 am  

    There is provision for married couples in immigration law, there is no right however for marriage certificate = residency.

    Yes there is. Happens all the time. People in the UK get married to brides from other countries all the time and bring them back.

    What exactly is ‘against the law’ about all of this MM?

    It’s not very nice, but neither country has an automatic obligation to allow it.

    Why not? You’re a citizen and the state works for you, not the other way around. Why should the state tell you who you can marry and live with?

    It’s absurd that you can’t marry someone from another country and live with them (assuming my USA example) – with the idea that the state should say no as a default unless something unlawful is proven.

    What’s your problem if someone wants to marry someone from overseas and settle with them here?

  13. Vikrant — on 19th April, 2010 at 3:43 am  

    It’s absurd that you can’t marry someone from another country and live with them (assuming my USA example) – with the idea that the state should say no as a default unless something unlawful is proven.

    Actually thats how international marriages are treated in the US, when it comes to green card applications. The onus is of course on the married couple to prove that it wasn’t a sham marriage… Seems to have worked reasonably well so far!

  14. MaidMarian — on 19th April, 2010 at 10:09 am  

    Sunny (12) – Thanks for the reply.

    Nothing about this is against the law. You put that in speech marks, despite me not using those words which is rather poor form on your part!

    The point is that the law for marriage is one thing and the law on immigration is another. The law on immigration sets out a series of things that allow for immigration by a marriage route. These people have not met those things, therefore the husband does not have a route to immigration via marriage. Simples.

    I was not for a moment suggesting that there was anything illegal about the marriage certificate, just that the authorities in a Moroccan registry office can not and should not be issuing de facto UK visas.

    The state does not work for me, it works for society as a whole. The state does allow for immigration by marriage, I’d be more willing to buy your arguments here if there was a, ‘no, never,’ policy. There is not. The law places entirely legitimate burdens on people in these situations and the couple you point to seem to have assumed that marriage = visa. They were wrong to do so. Had these people been badly advised or even if they had had an application maladministered I would have gone into bat, neither appears to be the case.

    I would argue that society as a whole can reasonably expect its government to place restrictions on immigration by the marriage route, balanced against that, such a route should exist to allow for private marriages/lives.

    A more interesting question would be whether all the media coverage has given people the false impression that marriage = visa.

    You ask, ‘What’s your problem if someone wants to marry someone from overseas and settle with them here?’ I have no problem, given that myself and my non-EU wife have done just that! It’s just that I have no expectation of being able to disregard immigration law on my own fiat.

  15. Farley — on 19th April, 2010 at 10:13 am  

    “It’s not very nice, but neither country has an automatic obligation to allow it.”

    “Why not? You’re a citizen and the state works for you, not the other way around.”

    Yes you can argue the state has a duty toward you, but the state does not have any duty toward your spouse if they are from another country, any more than it has a duty toward a beloved friend of yours who lives in another country. You don’t get to decide that you can expand your own civil rights to yourself-and-another-person-from-abroad. You are not entitled to that.

    “Why should the state tell you who you can marry and live with?”

    It should have no right to tell you who you can marry, so long as they are old enough, and I can’t see in this case that it has tried to stop any marriage. However, it has every right to deny the person you marry the right to live here if they are not already a citizen of this country.

    “It’s absurd that you can’t marry someone from another country and live with them (assuming my USA example) – with the idea that the state should say no as a default unless something unlawful is proven.”

    I haven’t said that the default should be that the state should say no. I’ve just said you don’t have an automatic natural right to live in the country of a spouse. All countries have immigration laws.

    Now I keep answering your questions, Sunny, will you have the courtesy to go back and answer mine as already requested, please?

    ETA: Maid Marian has put it much better than I could. I am not remotely, arguing against ever allowing marriage to result in immigration, just that it should not be assumed that the former results naturally in the latter. Otherwise, as has been pointed out, a registry office in one country is effectively granted the right to issue citizenship of another country.

  16. MaidMarian — on 19th April, 2010 at 10:26 am  

    Farley -

    Indeed. There is an interesting little footnote here. All too often there seems to be an immediate demand that the old Priimary Purpose Rule be reintroduced. This was ludicrous as it effectively invited people to demonstrate a negative. Even MigrationWatch accept that the PPR is not the ideal.

    http://www.migrationwatchuk.org/briefingPaper/document/124

    See paragraph 39.

    There are quite well defined markers on the route to marriage via immigration. In the link in the article I can see at least one obvious shortcoming. Advice on this is freely available, even though it is a bit of a specialist area. On the face of it, these people made an assumption and got caught out.

  17. damon — on 19th April, 2010 at 11:23 am  

    I believe that guys coming back from places like Thailand with a new wife from there also have this problem. It’s tough on those people.

    You only have to google the words ”marriage scams” and you will get loads of web pages about scams world wide.

    This was the case in Ireland a couple of years ago:

    POOR, young Latvian women are being lured to Ireland with promises of up to €10,000 to “marry” illegal immigrants here, men mainly from Pakistan, most of whom are believed to have wives back in their home countries.

    Adverts have been placed in Latvia and, it is believed other Baltic states, seeking women to come to Ireland to marry illegal immigrants over the past two years.

    One advert in Latvia stated: “Young unmarried women wanted. Women who would agree to help Indian guys in Dublin with registering marriage on paper (fictitious marriage, popular in Dublin nowadays).

    “Everything will be covered, plus you get €1,000, plus room rent covered, plus work offered, plus pocket money, plus course (professional, language) plus other benefits. Also plane ticket costs will be covered. All this is legal!.”

    http://www.independent.ie/national-news/836410000-bogus-marriage-offer-for-latvian-girls-1372358.html

    I think that people should be able to live where they want – but you have to draw the line somewhere, unless you support ‘open borders’ which a minority of people do.

  18. Niels Christensen — on 19th April, 2010 at 4:40 pm  

    ‘It’s absurd that you can’t marry someone from another country and live with them (assuming my USA example) – with the idea that the state should say no as a default unless something unlawful is proven’
    Sunny, we have discussed this before (!), of course they can marry, and move to western europe. But in the first, let say 5 years, the only thing they can receive from the state is (language) education.

  19. Traintastic — on 20th April, 2010 at 1:00 am  

    Sunny Hundal appears to have started from the presumption that playing the racism card would do for starters, and that a coherent argument for his position would present itself later on. It still hasn’t presented itself, and shows no sign of threatening to do so.

  20. midwestern eastender — on 21st April, 2010 at 11:26 am  

    @Neils — I’m an American here on a marriage visa (yes, working and paying UK taxes even though I can’t vote), and foreign spouses aren’t allowed to get any state benefits for the first two years. After that, you have to apply for another (expensive, time-consuming) visa in order to stay.

    In a related note, I know a lesbian couple (Indian and American) who met and fell in love while working in the UK. They can’t legally migrate to India or the U.S. as domestic partners/wives, and the UK wouldn’t support them because they’re foreign and weren’t on permanent work visas…so they moved to Canada, who welcomed their highly-skilled, educated selves with open arms, and they’re going to marry there next year. So gay rights are also an immigration issue as well…

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