Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Polygamous immigrant families to be paid more benefits after British Government blunder

Immigrants with more than one wife will qualify for extra benefits under reforms to Britain’s welfare system, after an attempt to crack down on the problem backfired.

Polygamous marriages, largely confined to Muslim families, are only recognised in Britain if they took place in countries where they are legal.

Currently, any additional wives can receive reduced individual income support, meaning the husband and his first wife are paid up to £111.45.

Subsequent spouses living under the same roof receive around £40. Under the new system of Universal Credit, which comes in next year, polygamous marriages will not be recognised at all.

Ministers pledged to end the ‘absurd’ benefits regime which has seen multiple wives allowed to claim extra welfare payments.

But a House of Commons Library paper has highlighted a loophole in the rules which will allow additional wives to claim a full single person’s allowance, currently worth up to £71, while the original married couple will still get a married couple’s allowance.

The paper said: ‘Treating second and subsequent partners in polygamous relationships as separate claimants could mean that polygamous households receive more under Universal Credit than under the current rules.’

The Department for Work and Pensions admitted the loophole but said there were fewer than 50 polygamous families claiming benefits.

The first Asian woman to receive a peerage, Baroness Flather, has spoken out widely on the issue of polygamous families claiming benefits.

There are around 1,000 polygamous homes in Britain, the majority of which are Muslim

'Under Islamic Sharia law, polygamy is permissible. So a man can return to Pakistan, take another bride and then, in a repetition of the process, bring her to England where they also have children together — obtaining yet more money from the state,' she wrote in the Mail last year.

'Because such Islamic multiple-marriages are not recognised in Britain, the women are regarded by the welfare system as single mothers — and are therefore entitled to the full range of lone-parent payments. We cannot continue like this.

'Why are they allowed to have more than one wife,' she added.

'We should prosecute one or two people for bigamy, that would sort it out.'

Currently in the UK it is illegal to marry more than once.  But if the multiple marriages took place abroad then it is not.

A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions told MailOnline said that the loophole will exist because extra wives in a polygamous home are treated as single.

'Polygamy is illegal in this country and it would be wrong for the benefits system to legitimise these arrangements by recognising them in any way,' they said.


New Report Analyzes State-Level E-Verify Policies

Online Tool Used at 900,000 Worksites. 1,200 New Businesses Sign Up Weekly

WASHINGTON, DC (July 30, 2012) – The Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) today released a new report, An Overview of E-Verify Policies at the State Level, detailing the growing and varied use of E-Verify by states since being upheld by the Supreme Court in May 2011. Use of E-Verify, the federally run employment authorization program, is required by 16 states for some or all employers; such mandates play a key role in state level efforts to discourage illegal immigration.

“There is much variability in the state use of E-Verify. Some states require all businesses to use the program and some require only public agencies or contractors; some states have stringent enforcement policies, and some ignore enforcement altogether,” comments Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center. “This new report allows policymakers to compare and evaluate differing state immigration laws and decide how to best incorporate E-Verify into their own state immigration laws so as to increase compliance.”

The report can be found online here

E-Verify is a free, Internet-based system that allows businesses to determine new hires' eligibility to work in the United States by comparing a new employee’s name, Social Security number, and date of birth against millions of government records. The program generally provides results in three to five seconds. According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), more than 353,000 employers use E-Verify at nearly 900,000 worksites. About 1,200 new businesses sign up each week. In fiscal year 2011, the program ran more than 17.4 million queries. The federal government requires its contractors to use E-Verify, but use of the system has not yet been made mandatory for all employers nationwide.

The report, authored by Jon Feere, Legal Policy Analyst, examines the E-Verify policies implemented by the 16 states, as well as the three states (Colorado, Utah, and Tennessee) which require some verification system, though not necessarily E-Verify, and the three states (California, Rhode Island and Illinois) which either prohibit E-Verify or discourage E-Verify mandates.

The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820,  Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076.  Email: Contact: Marguerite Telford,, (202) 466-8185

The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States.  The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

No comments:

Post a Comment