The Home Office has uncovered an immigration scam aimed at bringing hundreds of migrants into Britain using family reunion laws, a report has revealed.
Imams at a mosque in Kuwait were found to be signing marriage certificates for migrants claiming to be members of the Bidoon minority, the report by border watchdog, David Bolt, noted.
Britain often grants asylum to Bidoons as Kuwait refuses to grant them citizenship. At least 29 migrants claiming to be Bidoons who were given asylum in Britain were found to be linked to family reunion applications that would have brought more than 100 other migrants into the UK.
A “significant number” of cases were identified where marriage certificates originated from the same mosque and were signed by the same four or five imams. The refugee status of the 29 migrants implicated in the scam has now been rescinded.
The racket was first detected by Jordan’s visa section between 2012 and 2013, Noting anomalies in application numbers, officials interviewed the migrants and reported most of those interviewed provided “implausible accounts of their journey to Jordan and the majority appeared to know little or nothing of Kuwait”.
The Bidoons are regarded in Kuwait as illegal residents and so do not receive benefits set aside for citizens of the oil-rich nation such as welfare payments and free education.
It was reported in May that around 300 Kuwaiti Bidoons are living in the so-called “jungle” camp at Calais, hoping to enter the UK and that “dozens more” reside in the nearby camp at Dunkirk.
The Kuwaiti government maintains that the vast majority of Bidoons are illegal economic migrants of nearby countries such as Iraq and Saudi Arabia, and therefore are not stateless.
Also mentioned in Bolt’s report was that Home Office, Jordanian, and U.S. investigations into the details of 120 Bidoon sponsors in the UK who had been granted refugee status found that in 11 cases, sponsors had applied for U.S. visas using Iraqi identities before managing to get into Britain.