Migrants are marrying women in Britain who are already pregnant in order to avoid deportation, invoking ‘Human Rights’, a report from the borders and immigration inspectorate has revealed.
Migrants from outside European Economic Area (EEA) are marrying pregnant women, or women who already have children, who are British or European Union (EU) nationals in order to use human rights laws to stay permanently in Britain, due to the ‘right to a family life’, The Times reports.
According to the report, officials had recorded “a new trend for non-EEA men paying extra for a sham bride who was already pregnant”. Some men had also submitted several applications for leave to remain as a pending application can postpone deportation.
Figures published in 2013 suggest that between 3,000 and 10,000 applications every year to stay in the UK were made on the basis of sham marriages.
The report also noted that the Home Office is no longer focusing on preventing sham marriages. The agency now focuses on ensuring those married in sham arrangements are refused leave to remain.
However, enforcement teams no longer attending register offices to prevent shame marriages means a potential loss of intelligence on “fixers” – those who arrange the sham marriages – as they often attend the weddings as guests.
In 2015 the Home Office implemented new measures to handle sham marriages including increasing the period of notice of intent to marry from 15 to 28 days, with the possibility to extend to 70 days if there is an investigation.
‘Couples’ who refuse to comply with an investigation are not allowed to marry at all. But those who do engage in an investigation are allowed to marry – even if the marriage is a sham. In such cases, the Home Office will seek the refusal of right to remain.
In the period of the first of March to the 31st of August, it was noted that the marriage referral assessment unit was sent 23,948 cases, of which 17,818 couples were allowed to marry at 28 days’ notice period. The other 6,130 couples faced investigation with their intend to marry notice period extended to 70 days.
This is not the first time that the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights has been abused.
In 2014 an illegal migrant from Algeria, who threatened to set fire to his two daughters and ex-girlfriend, was allowed to stay in the UK because of his “right to a family life”. In 2015, convicted al Qaeda fundraiser Baghdad Meziane, who had links to the Charlie Hebdo attacks, invoked Britain’s Human Rights Act to avoid deportation to Algeria.
In September of this year, Middle Eastern child brides as young as 14 were being reunited with their older, migrant husbands in Denmark because separating the ‘couples’ was said to violate the right to family life guaranteed in the European Convention on Human Rights.