While this Writer would certainly agree that people born in foreign lands who immigrate into the UK should be able to speak English as soon as possible, deporting them for failure to do so seems unreasonably extreme. Especially as the threat seems groundless.
Perhaps it is simply arbitrary cruelty towards a minority group.
Does Cameron have evidence that a significant proportion of immigrants can’t speak English? No, he doesn’t.
Admittedly this information is three years out of date, but in 2013 the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) revealed that, of seven million foreign-born people in the UK at the time, less than one million could not speak English well, “and most of those appear to be making an effort”.
The NIESR article quotes Ed Miliband, who was Labour leader at the time. He said foreign-born women had told him they had to learn English because they wanted to be a part of society – so a Labour government would make English language teaching a priority.
Is Cameron offering English lessons?
No. He isn’t.
In fact, the Department for Business cut funding by £45 million in July last year for 47 colleges that teach 47,000 students ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages).
Families could be broken up and mothers deported after years of living in Britain if they fail a new mandatory English language test, David Cameron has confirmed.
The Prime Minister today outlined plans to language-test all spouses who immigrate join their partner living in Britain two and a half years after they arrive here.
Failing the language test could lead to the new arrival’s right to stay in the UK being revoked and them being sent back to their country of origin, he said.
Mr Cameron was asked during an interview whether a woman who came to the UK under the spousal settlement programme and had children in Britain could still be deported.
“They can’t guarantee that they’ll be able to stay,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
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