Law Coursework Paper on Immigration Law

IMMIGRATION LAW

Section A: 2013 immigration bill and article 8

Immigration laws refer to rules and regulations set aside by a country to govern the entry and exit of non-citizens into its territory. All countries of the world have immigration laws. The United Kingdom has immigration laws that have been in place since 1800. For a long time, the UK has had very stringent laws that govern the entry and stay of individuals who are not legitimate UK citizens (Timothy, H., 2005, 719). These laws were discriminatory and had many rules that people had to pass in order to gain citizenship into the country. This section looks at immigration laws in the United Kingdom in relation to article 8 of the ECHR and the 2013 immigration bill. Some law observers have argued that the UK government has generously granted relief to immigrants by using article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). This paper, therefore, seeks to find out the provisions in article 8 as well as how the immigration bill of 2013 seeks to end such generosities to immigrants.

An overview of UK immigration laws

Research shows that immigration law and policy in the United Kingdom has gone through a powerful and innovative transformation in the past decade (Timothy, H.,  2005, 724). The changes in immigration laws came about based on globalization, national and international adherence to human rights, the European Union and anti-terrorism acts, and evolutions in politics. Entry into the UK was hallmarked by discrimination based on racism, ethnicity, and religion among other things. Access into the nation was mainly restricted to those who enjoyed protection from the UK, those individuals who pledged allegiance to the country and entry from British colonies (Webber, F. & McDonald, I., 2010, 200). However, the past years have seen an influx in the number of foreigners entering and staying in the UK either legally or illegally.

Immigration officers noted that in the early 1990s, statistics confirmed that for every 25 people in the UK, one of them was a foreigner. However, the number has increased significantly and currently for every 12 people in the UK, one of them is a foreigner with British citizenship (Andrew, G., 2005, 725). This influx of foreign-born inhabitants in the UK has to lead to growth in diversity. The most recent census data has revealed that about 1 in 10 residents of the UK comes from an ethnic community. In urban centers, especially London, ethnic communities account for over 40% of the population.

The number of foreign-born citizens in the United Kingdom has also increased due to increased law that governs the acquisition of citizenship into the region (De Hart, B., & Ricky Van Oers, R., 2006). Many laws and acts came into place that protects people living in the UK. The border agency acts have also slackened their rules to enable more people to get into the country. Getting citizenship and staying in the UK has become easier because of adherence to national and international human rights acts. Economic operations between the UK and other countries have also made it easy for people to come into the region. Other factors such as study, marriage, and family have also contributed significantly to the number of foreigners in the country (Spencer, I.,1997, 127). Another factor that has to lead to an increased number of foreigners in the United Kingdom is the economic relationships that exist between European Union official members. Such a relationship brought about the relationship between Britain and commonwealth countries through trade and colonization.

Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

Article 8 of the ECHR contains clauses that aim at awarding reliefs to immigrants. These are based on marriage, asylum, education, family and ability to appeal wrongful deportation. This section states that every person has the right to respect for his or her personal and family life the individual has rights to his or her home and correspondence of any nature (UKParliament, 2014). This means that under the law, no authorized and non-authorized person can infringe on the privacy, family life, activities and communication of a person.

This article continues to state that no public authority shall interfere with the rights provided under this section except in conditions that are in accordance with the law, under circumstances that are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country. Public authorities may only interfere with such freedom in situations when the law must act in the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, of the rights and freedoms of others (Legislation govt. UK, 2014). in order for law providers to deny human rights action towards individuals, such a person or people must be found to be capable of causing insecurities, crime, disorder or infringing on other peoples’ rights.

The law therefore makes it easy for people to gain entry and stay in the United Kingdom easily as long as they are able to abide by the rules and strictly adhere with the provisions of article. All individuals have the rights to appeal to any claims of them being in the country illegally using article 8. For example the case between Berrehab vs. The Netherlands (1988) 11 EHRR 322 the court maintained that it is illegal to deport a parent prior to a marriage which gave right of abode ended, since the child-parent relationship is entitled to respect. Secondly, the rights to family can also not be denied to a person (ECHR, 2010, 10). Courts should not make decisions that have the effects of separating families.

However, much promise for would-be immigrants concerning protection against separation from families does not hold much in many past cases, as detailed in most Strasbourg jurisprudence under article 8. For example, the case between Abdulaziz, Cabales and Balkandali vs. United Kingdom(1985) 7 EHRR 471. Results showed that no requirements were effected during the case that indicated that the State should have  accepted non-national spouses for settlement. A closer look at article 8 reports that the clause has both positives and negative effects, especially towards the government (ECHR, 2010, 11). For example, the state is under a negative obligation not to hold up the privacy rights, but in addition, Strasbourg case laws extended article 8 to impose a positive duty to take measures to prevent private parties from interfering with these rights:

Immigration bill 2013

Legislators in the United Kingdom argued that the government has been overly generous in granting relief to immigrants based on article 8 of the European convention of human rights. The concern prompted the senate, House of Lords and House of Commons to come up with an immigration bill that intends to reduce freedoms granted in article 8 (GOV. UK 2013). They believe that some individuals have the ability to miss use and overstate their rights based on article 8. They came up with the 2013 immigration bill that aims at reducing the number of illegal immigrants into the United Kingdom.

The immigration bill also intends to recommend changes that should lead to reforming the eradication and appeals system. The law should bring to an end, the exploitation of Article 8 and avoid illegitimate immigrants from receiving and misusing public services or the activities in the labor market (GOV. UK 2013). The members of parliament, house commons and House of Lords have unanimously agreed that the government have for a long time article 8 to grand work and stay to illegal immigrants.

They have noticed that these illegal immigrants have also relied on this same article to keep staying in the country illegally based on privacy and protection of family members. As such, immigration bill 2013 should permanently halt migrants who abuse public services that they are not permitted (GOV. UK 2013). The bill will reduce the attractive factors such as those mentioned in article 8, which attract illegal immigrants to the UK. It will also make it easier for immigration law enforcers to remove illegal people who should not be in the United Kingdom.

With respect to removal of people staying illegally in the UK, the immigration minister stated that they would continue to welcome well deserving immigrants from around the world, who have the pure intention of helping UK better its economy and society while respecting the set rules (GOV. UK 2013). According to him, UK citizens anticipate and have the rights to an immigration system that is fair to British citizens and reasonable to legitimate immigrants, but tough on those who abuse the system and breaks the law. Therefore, the legislators are for the opinion that the law must aim at protecting and be fully on the side of the individuals who respect, while eradicating those who break it.

The 2013 rules on immigration states that despite the drastic drop in immigration since 2010, there is still much to be done to help curb issues that arise in the country because of immigration (GOV. UK 2013). The immigration bill should help in removing system abuse where it was widespread, while at the same time upholding the UK’s position as a beneficial place to live, study and work for the brightest and best from around the globe. It will also make it possible for the immigration officers to easily identify and quickly remove illegal immigrants into the United Kingdom. They want to reduce the number of appeals based on article 8 that is currently standing at 7,000 appeals per year (GOV. UK 2013).

The bill will make it possible for these professionals to ensure that no illegal immigrant has easy access to services dictated by privacy and family life. To be able to achieve these intentions, the 2013 immigration bill will enable the law enforcers to quickly identify illegal immigrants and take them back to their countries of origin. This will be possible when the bill extends powers to collect and analyze fingerprints, evaluate the status and trustworthiness of migrants seeking to marry or enter into a civil partnership, and search all passports of everybody living and entering the country (GOV. UK 2013).

 

Potential impact of immigration bill 2013 on the rights of immigrants

In an attempt to eradicate illegal immigrants into the UK, the immigration bill of 2013 will have impacts such as denial of privacy to legal immigrants. This is because the bill seeks to grant extended powers to search all immigrants whether legal or not. The law will also make it impossible for people to acquire legal stay in the UK based on factors such as family, length of stay and academic achievement in the country(Migrants’ Rights Network 2013, 78). This notwithstanding the fact that there are many UK citizens enjoying free stay and better work packages in former UK colonies.

The bill will also make it impossible to some legal immigrants to appeal their removal from the UK based on factors such as delay from the court system or home country (Migrants’ Rights Network, 2013, 78). It will also force people who have the rights to stay in the UK to go back to their countries and reapply for new entries into the UK even though they have significantly contributed to the growth and development of the UK’s economy and society. Despite the fact that some immigrant are illegally in the UK, these immigrants have been working in the UK thereby boosting its economy.

The bill will make it hard if not impossible for immigrants to claim statutory benefits such as maternity payments even if a person qualifies for them (Clayton, G., 2012). The hill seeks to grant excess powers to lawmakers, which will ensure deportation upon arrival even without allowing an individual the rights to state their reason of being in the UK. The bill will as well result in increases in racial discrimination of migrants of various communities, especially when banks, hospitals, property owners among others are given the powers to check migrants in the country. It will also create a hostile environment for legal migrants who are rightfully in the country (Migrants’ Rights Network 2013).

Section B

Rights to stay in the United Kingdom

All immigrants into the United Kingdom have the right to stay as long as they are legal immigrants. There are different ways that an individual can use to acquire lawful migration into the country (legitimate civil marriage, legitimate family in UK, study, work, asylum and length of stay apply for citizenship). The immigration bill of 2013 is set to come up with draconian laws that prevent and eliminate illegal immigrants in the country, by extending excessive powers to immigration officers to help them root out illegal migrants. They claim that they want legal migrant who are able to obey the laws and help contribute to the growth and development of the country’s economy and society. They also aim to eradicate crime and other activities that might affect British citizens negatively.

An individual wishing to migrate to the United Kingdom can get legal migrants status to the country in many ways. It is therefore important for such people whether already in the UK or outside to be acquainted with such laws and other provisions so that they can make the right decisions (Clayton, G., 2012, 123). This section of the paper is a discussion of the various immigration options available to Jack that could lead to his settlement in the United Kingdom. Jack has been in the country since 2011 and has completed a degree in astrophysics with and obtained a distinction nine months ago in the United Kingdom. He has not found a job in his field, instead he is  working at the frozen foods section at a big supermarket, whilst hoping to raise money to undertake postgraduate studies in the UK. He is unable to return to South Sudan owing to the current conflicts that are in the country. Since arriving in the UK in 2011, he has lived with his 17-year-old boyfriend, John, who is a UK citizen but they are unable to openly declare their relationship owing to conservative family members.

Education visa as a means of stay

The ongoing explanation shows that jack has been in the United Kingdom for more than five years while studying. It shows he is still legally in the country. To continue his stay, jack can apply for an extension of student visa. This is because in as much he has finished his undergraduate degree, he still wish to continue studying a master degree that will be able him to get a well paying job in the UK (Legislation.gov UK, 2002). The law provides and ability for an individual to reapply for a tier4 student visa for continuation study in the UK. The first step that jack should take is to ensure that his previous student visa is valid.

He can then go to the embassy or immigration offices to apply for a tier 4 student visa that will enable him increase his stay in the country. While applying for this visa, he needs to show that he has the ability to sustain himself financially by staying that he works at a frozen food section of a big super market. This will show the officers that jack is not just enjoying the resources but is also working hard to help the country improve its economy and society. They will also be able to see Jack as a non-parasitic legal migrant.

The law also provides continuing students with the ability to acquire a work permit. Therefore, Jack should apply for a work permit upon realizing that the one he has is expired (Kay, H., 2006,71). A work permit will be able immigration officers to note that Jack is a well deserving bright mind who is capable of supporting himself without requiring extra help from the government. He must prove that he is capable of paying his school fee and other expenses by disclosing the contents of his bank account. This should not be a problem since he has been working for a given period and should have been smart enough to save for such needs and requirement.

Seeking asylum as a right of stay in the UK

According to the European convention on human rights, every person has a right to be protected for as long as they are in the UK. Article 8 of the human rights also grant asylum to persons who deserve it (GOV. UK. 2013). Jack is not able to go back to his country due to political turmoil and unrest. As such, he is eligible for protection under asylum provisions in the nationality, immigration and asylum acts of 1999 and 2002. Now that he is in the United Kingdom, such application should not be an issue, since the law requires an individual to apply for asylum upon arriving in the UK (Legislation.gov UK, 2002).

He should first find out if applying for asylum would make him go to the refugee camps thereby denying him his rights to live a free life, work and study. If applying for an asylum will subject him to such conditions, then he should not consider applying for an asylum (Clayton, G., 2012, 123). Jack will have to find out his eligibility levels for claiming asylum in the UK. If he is eligible, then he should go through lawful process such as screening during which he should provide valid information to the immigration officers. This is because if the officers find any false information during his screening, he might be liable for prosecution of asylum denial.

The law also states that all asylum seekers have the rights to be handled fairly and lawfully irrespective of their race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation or any disability (Kay, H., 2006,78). Asylum seekers should not be denied the rights to practice their own religion. They are expected to show obedience to individuals of diverse faiths, have their application regarded justly and correctly. They are required by the law to have access to help and accommodation if they meet the requirements for such support. According to the law, asylum seekers also need to be granted access to free health care from the National Health Service (NHS).

Section 94 of the nationality, immigration and asylum act (1999) defines a destitute asylum seekers as a person who is at least 18 years, is already in the UK, needs support and accommodation, has applied for asylum and his or her asylum has not been processed. Jack should therefore try to apply for asylum based on the provisions as per the law and examine if he is legible for legal stay in the country based on asylum (De Hart, B., & Ricky Van Oers, R., 2006).

Length of stay

Another means that Jack may use to help him stay legally in the United Kingdom is to apply for residence based on length of stay (De Hart, B., & Ricky Van Oers, R., 2006). He can claim that he has been in the country for five years and still wish to stay legally for another five years while working and studying. He should indicate that it has significantly contributed to the society and economy of the country by working there. He must also prove that he has ever violated any rule and does not pose a threat to the citizens in any way.

He can also use the human rights act of 1998 to justify further, why he deserves to be given a chance to legally live and work in the UK (Kavanga, 2008). He may also argue that by the time he will be finishing his master’s degree, he shall have completed the required ten-year stay in the United Kingdom and can apply for permanent stay in the country based on these grounds. Apart from study visa, Jack may also apply for a legal work permit that will allow him to stay in the country on employment grounds. He can show that he has been working for a given period in the UK and is eligible to stay and continue working under his current job.

Legitimate family in the United Kingdom

Article 8 of the European convention of human rights states that everybody has the right to private and family. This law states that everybody has the right to family and should be granted the right to stay with a legitimate family in the UK (Christopher, 1985, 114). The human rights act also states that an individual should be given the right to be legally in the country based on family relationships. As such, Jack should find out if he has legitimate family members who have lived in the United Kingdom.

He should be able to prove that these are his real family members. After this, he can apply for a stay visa that connects him with his family. The visa should also make it possible for Jack to be recognized as legal migrants in the United Kingdom (Human Rights Acts, 1999). Based on the fact that he is currently working and is able to support himself financially, Jacks’s family, if any will not have to prove that they are capable of providing for him financially. However, they must be able to prove that they can accommodate him and protecting if need be.

Naturalization

Naturalization is another method that Jack can use to acquire legal stay in the United Kingdom (De Hart, B., & Ricky Van Oers, R., 2006). Under the provision of naturalization, the law requires an applicant to demonstrate the ability of spoken English and at least some level of knowledge of societal life in the UK. These provisions should not be a problem for Jack since he has lived and studied in the country for more than five years. He, therefore, has proper if the not good command of spoken and written English and also knows the type of life that people live there (Legislation.gov UK, 2002). For example, he has been staying with his boyfriend since 2011, an indication that he knows that the law allows people to cohabit with their boyfriends, girlfriends, friends or fiancés.

Application of citizenship

The last method that Jack may use to get by applying to be a citizen of the country. In this way, he may be able to express his needs to become a legal citizen of the United Kingdom (Alexander, T. & Klusmeyer, D., 2001). After living in the country for quite some time and by showing his intention to continue his education in the country, the immigration officers should apply the necessary laws to grant him legal stay in the United Kingdom. He could have considered using civil marriage as another method of acquiring legal migrants but this is impossible since he is not legally married to his boyfriend.

He cannot be able to prove beyond any doubt that their relationship will end up in a legal marriage (Human Rights Acts, 1999). The law only allows people to claim legibility of immigration based on civil marriage in cases where the couple is able to show that their marriage is legitimate, legal and recognized by the law. This is one fact that Jack cannot prove and therefore may not consider using it.

Of all the methods available for Jack, the best way for him to use in order to settle in the United Kingdom is to first apply for a tier 4 student visa and obtain a work permit (Human Rights Acts, 2002). As the years pass by while he continues to finish his master’s degree, he shall have obtained the maximum ten years of stay in the country. He can then easily apply to be a citizen through registration or through naturalization.

Conclusion

Immigration laws have been tightened in the UK in order to help flash out illegal immigrants. It has become hard for people to easily obtain chances of staying, living and working in the UK. On the contrary, people who want to work, study and stay in the UK with good intentions can still have ways of obtaining visa and permits that legalizes their stays. It is important for an individual to familiarize themselves with such laws and provisions in order to be right with the law and to avoid deportation or persecution.

 

 

References

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