Leftie lawyers try to block James Cleverlys masterplan to halt immigration

Leftie lawyers representing families threatened by plans to raise the family visa income threshold may be plotting to scupper the Government’s new rules in court. A sharp increase from £18,600 to £38,700 in the minimum Brits have to earn if they want to bring foreign family members to the UK was announced by Home Secretary James Cleverly earlier this month.

The move forms part of a bid to curb numbers after the Office for National Statistics revised its net migration figure – the difference between the number of people arriving in the country and leaving – to put 2022 at a record of 745,000.

Campaign group Reunite Families has instructed the law firm, Leigh Day, to explore ways the plan can be challenged in the courts. Grounds for a legal challenge may include the Government’s handling of assessments of the rule change’s impact; questioning how the new £38,700 income minimum was reached or whether it interferes with the right to family life under the European Convention of Human Rights, The Guardian reports.

Caroline Coombs, Co-Founder and Chief Executive of Reunite Families, told the same publication that the threshold was a “horrendous shock” for tens of thousands of British citizens and their loved ones.

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Reunite Families said: “We have instructed the law firm, Leigh Day, to advise us on potential legal avenues. Given the absolute lack of information currently provided on the policy, we want further detail from the Home Secretary on the policy as a first step.”

A Home Office spokesperson said the higher salary threshold is needed so family members from abroad joining British citizens are not a burden on the state. They added: “The Prime Minister has made clear current levels of migration to the UK are far too high.

“We have a longstanding principle that anyone bringing dependents to live in the UK must be able to financially support them. The minimum income requirement ensures families are self-sufficient instead of relying on public funds, with the ability to integrate if they are to play a full part in British life.”

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News of the potential legal action came within hours of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak warning Europe could be “overwhelmed” by migrants. Mr Sunak used a gathering of Italian conservatives and right-wingers to issue a stark warning of the threat posed by illegal migration, suggesting changes to global refugee rules might be needed.

In a speech to the Atreju event organised by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party, Mr Sunak said radical solutions, such as his Rwanda plan, were needed to protect countries’ borders. Saying “enemies” want to use migration as a “weapon”, he added: “If we do not tackle this problem, the numbers will only grow. It will overwhelm our countries and our capacity to help those who actually need our help the most.

“If that requires us to update our laws and lead an international conversation to amend the post-war frameworks around asylum, then we must do that. Because if we don’t fix this problem now, the boats will keep coming and more lives will be lost at sea.”

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Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden on Sunday (December 17) defended Mr Sunak’s claim migration could “overwhelm” European states.

He told Sky News: “I think the Prime Minister is absolutely right to issue this warning, and indeed it’s not just a warning, it’s something that we have seen elsewhere – we have seen the weaponisation of migration, for example, in the conduct of Belarus in relation to Poland, there’s been warnings from Finland in respect of the conduct of Russia.”

Mr Dowden said the “broader point” is that people need to feel reassured the Government has control of Britain’s borders and people smugglers bringing people across the Channel illegally have to be stopped.

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