Today's Home Office media stories include the Home Secretary meeting with French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner on Channel migrant crossings, and a report on sham marriages.
Home Secretary’s small boats meeting in Paris
The Times, Metro, Mirror, Guardian and Telegraph all report on the Home Secretary’s meeting in Paris yesterday with her French counterpart, Christophe Castaner, on migrants crossing the Channel. The Today Programme and Sky also reported on it this morning.
Sky News reported that the UK and France share concerns over the growing problem with small boats and that they are looking to find new avenues of co-operation. It added that tackling the crisis has been at the forefront of tasks for the Home Secretary and highlighted a visit she made earlier this month to meet Border Force officers.
The Times and Metro reported that Priti Patel travelled to France after it was reported that she had told her officials to find an urgent solution to the migrant crossings.
The Times leader states action must be taken to reduce the pull factor. The Times states that the number of people attempting to reach Britain by sea is growing. It reported that a more pragmatic solution, for now at least, is to prevent migrants from making the journey in the first place.
Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said:
I will not let the ruthless gangs of criminal people smugglers continue to put lives in danger – which is why I’m doing everything in my power as Home Secretary to put a stop to these illegal crossings.
We’ve been working extremely closely with our French colleagues to tackle the use of small boats but we both agreed more needs to be done.
It’s vital we ensure our collective expertise is used to stop the boats from leaving French shores and dismantle the criminal networks driving this activity.
Rise in sham marriages
The Daily Mail reports that the number of suspected sham marriages staged to cheat immigration laws may have multiplied five times over the past decade.
According to a report by Migration Watch UK, fake marriages are ineffectively policed and open to abuse by organised crime, the paper says. The Mail reports that EU free movement laws can be easily used by those running fake marriage rackets.
The report also criticised the exploitation of ‘proxy marriage’ rights granted by British courts, in which a marriage contracted abroad is recognised as genuine, even when one of the marriage partners was not present at the wedding, the paper says.
A Home Office spokesperson said:
We are committed to a fair and humane immigration policy which welcomes and celebrates people who are here legally but which also tackles illegal immigration.
We want to ensure that family migration is based on a genuine relationship, and the Government is taking action against those who abuse marriage as a means of entering the UK illegally.