Chain Migration: UK Govt ‘Turns Blind Eye’ to Forced Marriage, Hands Visas to Foreign Rapists

forced marriage
AFP/Rebecca CONWAY

Government officials are handing visas to the husbands of girls who have been forcibly married, raped, and impregnated abroad, allowing them to settle in Britain permanently.

The Home Office received 175 inquiries from abuse victims trying to block spouses’ visas last year, The Times revealed.

However, officials allowed in almost half of the abusers — from countries including Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and the United Arab Emirates — regardless.

The shocking revelations prompted accusations of officials bowing to political correctness and effectively becoming complicit in horrific acts of abuse because they are scared of accusations of racism.

Of the cases, 88 became full cases, which included direct requests from victims, known as “reluctant sponsors”, pleas from third parties, or instances where an official suspected the marriage was forced.

Men who have physically abused women — including husbands who rape their wives — have been let into the United Kingdom to live, The Times claims.

The Home Office, meanwhile, insisted it was a “world leader in tackling the horrendous crime of forced marriage” and that it took safeguarding “very seriously”.

Karma Nirvana, a charity that supports victims of forced marriage, receives almost 13,000 calls a year to its helpline.

Jasvinder Sanghera, its founder and a government adviser, said: “We’re seeing this nationally. Even when officials know it’s a forced marriage, they see tradition, culture or religion and they’re reticent to deal with it. They are turning a blind eye.”

The Times highlighted the case of an immigration lawyer advising a family to ensure their daughter was impregnated abroad and gave birth in the United Kingdom to help her husband get a British visa, even if the wife did not want him here.

Men, therefore, are raping girls to make them pregnant because families believe having a child helps visa applications — although this can be illegal if information on the marriage is withheld.

One teenage victim of a forced marriage reported by The Times was “living like a slave” in Bradford, a heavily Muslim-populated town, after her husband and alleged abuser was allowed into Britain.

She was forcibly married to a Pakistani cousin when she was 16-years-old, and despite contacting officials and begging them to block his visa, he is now living in the United Kingdom legally and working as a driver.

Fearing repercussions, she would not sign a public statement objecting to the visa.

The woman, now 19, continues to live with the husband, who subjects her to “extreme” abuse, in her parent’s house with the child, and is secretly taking contraception so she does not have more children after being raped.

Another victim, who was forcibly married to her cousin in Afghanistan and raped and beaten by him for weeks, says officials handed her abusive husband a British visa without even contacting her.

She was also beaten and threatened by her brother and forced to sign the visa application, and despite there being obvious signs of a forced marriage, it is claimed that the Home Office did not bother to contact her.

The charity Sharan Project supported her, and its founder Polly Harrar explained: “For two weeks after the wedding in Afghanistan, her husband beat and raped her.

“When she came back to the UK, she was then forced to work full-time to support the visa application. She fled when her family tried to get her to sign the visa forms but they must have forged her signature as her husband is now in the country.”

She added that “her case has all the patterns we see over and over again and the Home Office did not make contact with her. Now she is [in] a refuge and her rapist is in the UK.”

Aneeta Prem, the founder of Freedom, another charity that supports victims of forced marriage, told The Times: “We’ve had a number of cases like this and they go unchallenged. The girls are physically and sexually abused by the men that come over.”

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