Immigration has always been a contentious issue, and Theresa May’s new plans for deportation are about to make it even more so.
May has decided that she wants judges to take into account the wider needs of the public in ruling that the right to family life is “not absolute”.
At the minute, foreign criminals can escape deportation or extradition if members of their family live in this country. This means that hundreds of foreign criminals are able to delay or even completely cancel their deportation date, living of the tax payer’s money in the meantime. If things change, this could only happen under exceptional and rare circumstances, putting a stop to national scandals similar to Qatada’s shambled case.
While some may judge that it is unfair to separate a family, regardless of criminal activity, the point remains that the perpetrator of the crime has been taken in by a country, and then broken that country’s law. It could be argued that, should you commit a crime, you lose your claim to certain rights and privileges, and what is stopping ‘the right to family life’ being one of them?
You commit a crime, you lose your claim to certain rights
May’s ruling will also directly affect normal, non-criminal citizens. Foreigners wishing to move to England to live with their partners or family must be supported by a sponsor earning more than £18,600, or £22,400 for families with children. May proposes setting up a minimum probationary period of five years, to deter sham marriages, and setting a minimum requirement of skill in understanding and using English, to ensure that immigrants are able to integrate.
While the wage requirements may to some seem unfair – if your partner/parent does not earn enough, you can’t live with them – the above moves are for the greater good. The economy cannot stabilise and grow with a continuing influx of dependents on it, and thousands of immigrants every year enter the country and sign up for benefits.
The priority is making sure that our country’s needs, and those of the native population are put first; we should offer a helping hand and shelter where possible, but not to the detriment of those born here.
These moves should also help to alleviate some of the problems associated with immigration, for example British anger towards the subject. It’s not an issue that’s going to go away, but it can be helped by the rulings May proposes. They may be baby steps, but they’re positive enough for now.