Tory Home Secretary Theresa May plans new legislation to make it easier to deport refugees and asylum seekers by clamping down on their right to stay in the UK if they have family connections here.
The “right to family life” is enshrined in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and means that (for example) refugees can legally remain in the country if they are married to a British national. May is now claiming that the right is “not absolute”.
May’s new proposals will mean that the spouses of UK nationals will have no automatic right to live in the country unless their spouse is earning more than £18,600. If a couple has children, the figure is higher (£24,800 if there are two children involved, and a further £2,200 for every additional child).
The new law would mean that working-class families could be faced with effective exile from the UK (either seeking asylum or refuge elsewhere or returning to the country of origin of the foreign national) or the breakup of their family.
Some 25,000 families could be affected by the new laws every year.
The response from Theresa May’s Labour Party opposite number, Yvette Cooper, has been appalling, leading with criticism of the government for failing to deport a sufficient number of “criminals”, and criticising the new proposals only on the basis that administrative incompetence — and not the obstacles represented by human rights legislation — is to blame for the Tories’ failure to be more aggressively racist and anti-migrant.
The proposals are the latest in a series of Tory clampdowns intended to make it harder to come to Britain… unless you’re rich. New requirements for pre-entry English tests discriminate against those not able to pay for language tuition, but anyone planning to invest more than £5 million in Britain will be fast-tracked for citizenship without being subjected to any such tests.
The Tories’ immigration policy is simple. The rich are welcome, the poor are not. Each attack should be fought, as should the whole system of immigration controls.
If capital and commodities have freedom to travel the globe, so should the workers who make them.