UK May Deport Muslim Migrants Who Don't Learn English

'People coming to our country have responsibilities too'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2016 3:00 PM CST
UK May Deport Muslim Migrants Who Don't Learn English
Prime minister David Cameron says Muslim women who don't learn English upon migrating to the UK could be deported.   (Stefan Rousseau/ Pool photo via AP)

If migrants—for example, Muslim women on spousal visas—haven't learned at least some English within two-and-a-half years of moving to the UK, they could face deportation, the Guardian reports. It's part of a plan backed by prime minister David Cameron, who says the segregation and isolation of Britain's Muslim communities invites things like forced marriage, genital mutilation, and radicalization, according to the BBC. "If you're not able to speak English, you're not able to integrate," he says. "You may find, therefore, that you have challenges understanding what your identity is and you could be more susceptible to the extremist message that comes from [ISIS]." Cameron says there are 38,000 Muslim women in the UK who can't speak English and another 190,000 with limited English, according to the Guardian.

In addition to language tests, the government is also considering banning face veils in certain places, such as schools and courts, and banning gender segregation in Muslim meetings, the Telegraph reports. "People coming to our country have responsibilities too," the Guardian quotes Cameron. According to the BBC, critics of the plan say there are bigger issues affecting Muslim women, that connecting language skills and radicalization isn't helpful, and that it's wrong to focus on Muslims instead of all migrants. Cameron says he'll be putting more than $28 million toward a program to teach Muslim women English, and that starting in October, people entering the UK on five-year spousal visas will be tested on their English skills after two and a half years. If they're not improving, they may not be allowed to stay. (More United Kingdom stories.)

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