Category Archives: UK

The Sledgehammer & the Nut: using age limits to fight forced marriages

Written by Thomas Huddleston, MIPEX Research Coordinator, Co-author and Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

Amber and Diego Aguilar, with the support of a British NGO, may have overturned the UK’s 21-year-age-limit for the reunification of non-EU citizens with their British or non-EU sponsor. The court found that age limits have a legitimate aim — fighting forced marriages — but disproportionate effects on other genuine couples. The very few other European countries that recently introduced these measures also face questions about how effective they really are against forced marriages.

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Unlike UK, Australia & Canada promote English–and multiculturalism too

Written by Thomas Huddleston, MIPEX Research Coordinator, Co-author and Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

A new MIPEX assessment by Migration Policy Group finds that Brits can have confidence in their country’s decades-long policies on settlement and citizenship. However new UK proposals demonstrate that British politicians critically misunderstand what is multiculturalism in these two Commonwealth nations and how immigrants learn English in other English-speaking countries.


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UK proposes overturn of family reunion: biggest in Europe, ‘ineffective’ for integration

Written by Thomas Huddleston, MIPEX Research Coordinator, Co-author and Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

A Home Office consultation frequently lists policies in selected ‘other countries’ to support new proposals on family reunion. In fact, few other countries do what the UK proposes. The few countries with such measures have not yet proven that they meet integration objectives in practice, since data on forced and sham marriages is unknown and evaluations of their effectiveness are limited and disputed. After these changes, families including non-EU immigrants would face some of the most restrictive policies in the UK with a family reunion ranking of only 27th of 31 countries in Europe and North America. Continue reading

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Will new UK family reunion policies cap migration or fight exclusion?

Written by Thomas Huddleston, MIPEX Research Coordinator, Co-author and Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

Two weeks ago, I lead the UK MIPEX users’ training: how can governments and advocates use international information to inform a future UK policy on integration? Yesterday, Prime Minister David Cameron addressed his Conservative party outlining his approach to immigration and settlement. He mentioned two recent UK proposals that I used during the training in order to show how MIPEX can “fact-check” politicians’ evidence-base. Continue reading

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No to ‘Earned citizenship’: UK Government wants new legislation, but what direction?

Written by Thomas Huddleston, MIPEX Research Coordinator, Co-author and Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group

The cut-off date for MIPEX III research was 31 May 2010. On 5 November 2010, UK Home Secretary Theresa May announced the government’s intention not to implement ‘earned citizenship.’ The previous UK government made all the legislative changes necessary when Parliament passed the 2009 Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act. The Home Secretary called the approach “too complicated, bureaucratic, and, in the end, ineffective.”  These points were raised by opposition parties during parliamentary debate (See Report by Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association).

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