Monday, 14 September 2009

UK Immigration Rules Ruin People's Lives in Order to "Protect" Them

Through a sad and bizarrely crazy new set of immigration rules, the WWB (World Wide Bureaucracy) has struck again in the UK as a happily and voluntarily married young Canadian-Welsh couple will be obliged to live apart for a couple of years due to regulations supposedly designed to protect young British women of Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin from being forced into marriage. The woman involved is not British (she's Canadian), she has no Pakistani, Bangladeshi or any remotely Asian roots by all appearances ... I know, I know, I'm revealing my deep prejudice by coming to that conclusion by looking at her name (Wallis), her white face, her red hair ... and both she and her husband vehemently deny any coercion to get married.

She's not especially young either, being 19 years old, and sounding rather mature in the BBC news interview found in the above link. It's interesting that UK law permits 16 and 17 year olds to get married with their parents' permission. Above that age, Brit teens can marry if they like. By the logic of the regulations which deny marriage visas to foreigners under 21, the implication is that pure Brit teens are superior to non-Brits.

This case leads one to wonder if the new regulations were cast in such an un-necessarily broad ill-fitting manner to adhere to political correctness and avoid singling out a particular country or ethnic group. The "for the greater good some have to suffer" explanation put forth by the Home Office is laughable. Since all of the cases cited in the What is a forced marriage? booklet of the Forced Marriage Unit website involved teens travelling to another country, maybe the government should simply have banned all foreign travel by British citizens under 21?

As a Canadian who, though considerably older than this couple, came to the UK through marriage to a British citizen and experienced frustrations dealing with the Home Office in getting the necessary visas, I have a great deal of sympathy for Adam and Rochelle. I really hope their problem gets sorted, though the bureaucratic stonewalling and circling of wagons to back up the idiotic Home Office regulations is all too evident in the BBC account.

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