UK & World News
May Announces UK Immigration Overhaul
Illegal immigrants living in the UK for 20 years will be able to apply to settle in the country on human rights grounds, despite a new immigration crackdown.
In a wide-ranging overhaul of family migration, Home Secretary Theresa May is to scrap rules allowing settlement after 14 years, but anyone in the UK illegally for 20 years will still be able to apply.
The Home Secretary is also facing a showdown with judges as she attempts to curb their power to block the deportation of foreign criminals on human rights grounds.
In a statement to MPs, she announced that a Commons debate will be held next week to seek the backing of Parliament for new guidelines spelling out how courts should apply the European Convention on Human Rights.
The Home Secretary and a right to a family life - set out in Article 8 of the Convention - was only qualified and could no longer be used by foreign criminals to avoid deportation.
"The change in the immigration rules, to establish that if you are a serious criminal, if you have not behaved according to the standards we expect in this country, then claiming a right to a family life is not going to get in the way of your deportation," she said.
"For the first time, the courts will have a clear framework in which to operate, and one that is on the side of the public and not foreign criminals."
But Labour's shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper questioned whether the new guidance for judges would be enough to over-ride the precedent set by earlier cases.
She said: "I am puzzled by the Home Secretary's decision to choose a motion in Parliament which won't change the law, and doesn't over-ride case law in the way that primary legislation would.
"Surely this risks confusion and legal uncertainty? Wouldn't it be better to do this properly through primary legislation instead? We are happy to work with the Government on getting that right."
Mrs May originally promised a change in the foreign criminal rules at the Conservative conference last year, when she notoriously claimed that a Bolivian man had been allowed to stay in the UK because he had a pet cat. That claim was swiftly denied by judges.
But welcoming the Home Secretary's latest announcement, Kiran Bali of Migration Watch UK said: "This is a very valuable step forward.
"We must do everything possible to ensure that new migrants are able to integrate successfully into our society. Integration is enhanced by economic well-being, a common language, and an understanding of UK life.
"The measures will help communities to tackle these important and sensitive issues."
But Tara Lyle of Amnesty International UK said the announcement "pays lip service to a misconceived idea that human rights are a blunt, immovable tool when, in fact, subtlety in the law already exists".
She added: "It is high time that the sophistication of the law was mirrored in discussions on human rights by the Home Secretary, based on facts rather than pursuing populist headlines."
The Government says the new proposals will tackle sham marriages and reduce the burden on taxpayers.
Under a new "financial independence" rule, a non-EU spouse will have to earn at least £18,600 a year and if they have a child they will need £22,400, rising by £2,400 for each additional child.
Overseas grandparents who are financially dependent on relatives in the UK will be able to settle in the country only if they can show that, through age, illness or disability, they require long-term personal care that is available only with the relative in the UK.
And from next year, migrants seeking to settle in the UK will also have to be able to speak and understand English and pass a Life In The UK test, demonstrating an understanding of British history and traditions.
Overall, the reforms are expected to save the taxpayer £570m in health costs over the next decade, £530m in benefit claims and £340m in education costs, the Home Office said.
Mrs May said that, taken with the Government's other immigration reforms, she expected to see net migration fall from 250,000 to the tens of thousands.
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.
what do you think?
Illegals should never have the "right" to settle here, no matter how long they have lived here. We are overcrowded enough already. We need the mainstream parties to finally grow a backbone and deal with the problem head-on for once. The left-wing biased BBC need a shot across the bows as well.
Globalisation, internationalism, multiculturism, ! that`s what you are going to get as long as the political line up is Lib/Lab/Con. They will never cut back on those things no matter what else they say.
Damn straight Jim
Our immigration controls should be the same as Australia New Zealand and Canada. If you don't have anything to offer your no good so go home and if you think your staying you can think twice. And our bio security should of been the same although it's too late for that
Chris,Jim totally agree with both your comments but I think its more hot air. whatever rules are implied changed all the illegals will challenge it. Strasbourg ruled last month hamza could be returned to Jordan is he still here??? Course he is nothing changes
Add national service to the list off rules and regulations and Dover will be under water with the amount off illegals trying to get out.
Sort out your foreign policies, and immigration will be sorted simple.
Ali baba immigration is a shambles because previous governments allowed it to get that way especially the labour party who wanted multiculturalism. Not the UK citizen. It has nothing to do with foreign policy. We are seen as an easy touch by everyone. Even the Italians put them on planes and drop them off where they belong taking no notice of stupid European laws. Let's get tough and save us some money from scroungers.
Peter I came here as my family had a summer house in Chelsea. Also my sisters used to go to boarding school In England. We came here thinking it would only be a stop gap. Sadly I have been here for 32 years. It is a fantastic country and I am grateful to the British government. But there is a saying that goes. To know politics you must drink from the thames. Britain historically has interfered with alot of counties. And immigration is a by product of colonialism and the interfering of countries. There is not a day that goes by that I do not wish to be back home.
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
This comment has been removed for violations of our Terms and Conditions.
Windows Live User
No benefit to any immigrant at any time. They must be self supportive at all times They never contributed so why give them it? This will stop illiegal immigrants in scores
I saw an African woman today, country not known and un-important, and she had 7 kids with her plus 1 in a buggy. And people wonder why there's no places in schools and the NHS is collapsing.
Right, let me get this right, you sneak in,wash a few cars,get english lessons,do a few hours in a fast food joint,doss down in some crumby bedsit,find a cheap car without insurance or registration details,nick the petrol from your local petrol station,organize with your mates to seduce the local vicky pollards then end up with a council house and a state pension for your rewards for services to the uk,All because your managed to live under the radar of immigrations inability to stop these not of these lands people invading our ports.Tell me honestly you have not seen this first hand yet we are powerless to do anything about it.
This is yet another spineless cop out. Doesn't May understand trhat any illegal who manages to stay here for 20 yuears without being detected will also have had to spend 20 years without paying tax or NI? They should be depoted for that alone!
More meaningless bluff and bluster. She cannot do anything about immigrants from EU countries which is the vast majority of immigrants. She is not in control of our borders the EU are. Until we take control of our borders back from the EU immigration will continue unabated no matter what politicians say or do.
Any illegal should be deported no matter how long they've been here. This making them learn English and doing a test on our history and culture is a good idea though
yawn yawn another false promise what a shame we seem to have no power to stop anyone sneaking into our already overcrowded country. only when we have become a third rate country will people stop wanting to live here as there will be nothing for them to gain. when our society has completely broken down by then alas it will be to late.