UK to kick out poor immigrants


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A number of Kenyans living and working in the UK risk being kicked out of the country if the British Government effects a new radical immigration policy.

In the tough proposal unveiled on Thursday, foreigners working in the UK will be kicked out after five years if they earn less than Sh4.1 million (£31,000) annually.

According to the country’s Immigration minister Damian Green, the move is aimed at weeding out middle managers and those with “unskilled labour” not needed in the country.

The policy will mainly affect non-European Union immigrants.

“We want people who can benefit Britain, not just benefit from Britain, people who can make a contribution to our economy and to our wider society,” said Mr Green in an article appearing on the Sky News website.

The UK further wants to crack down on sham and forced marriages by introducing “a more formal test” to establish whether they are the result of genuine relationships.

Husbands, wives or fiancés who cannot speak English will also be barred from settling in the UK.

Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Diplomatic and Political Secretary Patrick Wamoto said they were not aware of the proposal.

“We are yet to get official communication from the British Government over the matter. Once we get it, we shall see what next steps to take,” he told the Saturday Nation by telephone.

“But if it is there, I suspect that it may affect those whose immigration status is not that okay… we are encouraging all of Kenyans in the UK to register with our embassy.”

There are at least 500,000 Kenyans in the UK, according to statistics from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Outlining how the UK Government planned to be more selective in its immigration policies, Mr Green said it was time to move away from the debate over numbers and ask “how we can benefit from immigration?”

Ministers have pledged to cut net migration from the current 242,000 to the “tens of thousands” last seen in the 1990s, with the crackdowns on forced and sham marriages, bogus students and an annual cap on immigrants coming from outside the EU.

Mr Green said immigrants who would dependent on the State economically were unacceptable. “Everyone who comes here must be selected to make a positive contribution,” he said.

New specialist routes will be developed further to improve the visa system for short-term business visitors and entertainers.



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