One Sham Marriage Every Hour in UK
Sham marriages by immigrants to gain access to Britain are happening at an “industrial” rate. Marriage registrars reported more than 9,100 bogus weddings last year – a rate of over one an hour - yet only 90 people were removed.
The Express reports that border inspector John Vine said that the number may be even higher, because registrars fail to inform immigration officials.
He told Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee that these marriages represent the “biggest threat” to Britain’s border security, especially as immigrants can use “proxy marriages” where neither bride nor groom need even be present.
Mr Vine was speaking after releasing a report last week on the scale of the problem. He found that 80 percent of proxy marriages were invalid, and that some marriage official even claim that couples are turning up to ceremonies dress in casual clothes, unable to speak English and sending texts throughout.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch, last week said: “This a very serious loophole in our immigration system which can be exploited by thousands of bogus applicants. It is yet another issue to be renegotiated.”
Conservative MP Douglas Carswell last night told the Express: “It sounds like it’s happening on an industrial scale, but there is nothing we can do because we are part of the EU.”