Sunday, December 18, 2011

British Judge rules new ban on immigrants who can't speak English IS legal

An Indian woman who argued that immigration rules preventing her husband from moving to the UK because he cannot speak English were a breach of the couple’s human rights has lost her case.

British citizen Rashida Chapti, 54, argued that her husband of 37 years, Vali Chapti, should be allowed to join her from India.

But immigration rules announced by Home Secretary Theresa May last year introduced new English language requirements for those moving to Britain to join a spouse.

Mrs Chapti, who has six children with her 57-year-old husband, argued in the High Court in Birmingham that the rule was a breach of the couple’s right to a private and family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Using legal aid to fight her case, she also argued that it was a breach of the right to marriage, and the right to be free from discrimination.

Yesterday, Mr Justice Beatson ruled that the English language requirement did not amount to a breach of the couple’s human rights and dismissed the case.

He said: ‘The new rule does not indirectly discriminate on the ground of nationality, ethnic origins or disability.’

Mrs Chapti, from Leicester, who speaks only halting English herself, vowed to appeal against the decision.

Through a translator, she said: ‘Naturally I feel very disappointed. It is Christmas and I will be alone without my husband. We will keep fighting for him to come here.’

She said it would be easier for Mr Chapti, a farmer from the Gujarati village of Valan, to learn English in Britain than India. He cannot read, write or speak the language. She has previously said that he was ‘too old’ to learn English even if he did get leave to stay in Britain.

Mrs Chapti, a machinist in a clothes factory, moved to the UK with her parents six years ago, using a British protected passport issued when they lived in Malawi, which was a UK colony. Mrs Chapti is believed to have been commuting between India and Leicester for several years.

After successfully applying for naturalisation as a British citizen, she attempted to ‘send for’ her husband and their youngest child. But under the new immigration rule, her husband was refused a spouse visa.

Previously, spouses and partners were required to demonstrate an ability to speak English two years after moving to Britain. Now they must speak a minimum level of English when they arrive.

Mrs Chapti and her husband were one of three couples who challenged the immigration law requiring people to be able to speak English before coming to Britain.

At an earlier court hearing, Mrs Chapti’s lawyer Manjit Gill QC said the rule was a breach of the couple’s human rights. He said: ‘The rule is particularly striking in that it prevents mere residence even though one of the parties is fully entitled to live in this country.’

He said it discriminated against people on the grounds of nationality and race.

Dominic Raab, a Tory MP spearheading a parliamentary campaign for human rights reform, said learning the language helped newcomers and encouraged ‘integration rather than segregation’. He said: ‘It’s extremely important that the requirements for newcomers to this country to learn English are upheld and maintained. ‘It is vital for those arriving in this country to be able to get on and for community cohesion.’

Mrs Chapti previously told the BBC: ‘It’s my right to be with my husband and I want to be with him. He is too old to learn English and he lives in a very remote place. ‘It is impossible for him to learn English.’


Sheriff Arpaio Fires Back at Obama Rights Charges

America's toughest sheriff is living up to his nickname in a battle against the United States Department of Justice over its report which accuses the Maricopa County, Arizona Sheriff's Department of a pattern of civil rights violations involving Latinos.

County Sheriff Joe Arpaio says he intends to fight allegations in the 22-page Justice Department report which claim his department has violated the civil rights of Latinos in enforcing immigration laws in Arizona, reports World Net Daily.

"Obama has just put a welcome sign on the United States border with Mexico," told Arpaio to WND referring to the president who back in September, in an inteview with a group of Latino reporters, said the sheriff and his department should not be viewed as a model for other law enforcement departments in how to enforce federal immigration laws.

Obama further told the journalists that the United States 50 states with 50 different immigration laws.

The DOJ report concludes the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department under Arpaio's watch has engaged in the racial profiling of Latinos, made unlawful stops and detentions in violation of federal civil rights laws.

Led by its president Randy Parraz, the group Citizens for a Better Arizona is urging the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution calling for Arpaio to step down. That same group spearheaded to recall effort against now former Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce who was part of the state legislature which crafted SB 1070, the state's new immigration law which has been tied up in the courts.

It was just last month though, that the United States Supreme Court said that next year, it will review a decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco which for the most part shut down SB1070.

Arpaio says while he is willing to engage in talks with federal officials over the report, he will not let them keep tabs on his office, according to a report in the Arizona Republic.

The sheriff describes incidents of racial profiling and discrimination outlined in the report as being, "a couple of bumps," reports the Republic. "We had some isolated incidents and they make it look like it's systemic. We thought we had this thing resolved. We gave them more files. Then we wake up in the morning and they do a press conference," added Arpaio.

He said he will cooperate with the Justice Department but, "one thing I am not going to agree to is to be controlled by some federal monitor or something. I'm the elected sheriff here and I report to the 4 million voters here in the county."

In a letter to Maricopa County, Justice Department officials have given Arpaio until January 4th to decide whether to cooperate in reforming his department. The letter also gave Arpaio 60 days for an agreement on a reform plan.

Arpaio was riled by the deadlines, pointing out the DOJ took three years to look at his department, came out with a 22-page report and he believes is giving him a relatively short amount of time to respond.

The Justice Department says if Arpaio does not comply, it will seek a court order to force reform and could revoke hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding, according to the Republic.

On the same day the report came out, the county received a letter from Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton which said Morton had terminated the sheriff's participation in a federal immigration program. ICE is withdrawing immigration detainees from jails in Maricopa County, will not respond to sheriff's department traffic stops and other minor arrests which involve immigrants and has cut off the department's access to federal technology which is used to verify immigration status.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Mongomery said Friday those actions have, "an immediate and harmful effect on carrying out my duties." Montgomery says the moves would also be a threat to public safety. "Im asking the president to direct the Department of Homeland Security to reinstate this program now," added Montgomery.

ICE will continue to be informed of immigrant arrests but will make its own determination who it will detain and where, based on its own law enforcement priorities, the Republic reports.


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