The latest immigration scam – sham civil partnerships!

Britons have long endured a plague of sham “marriages” designed to get around immigration laws.  Occasionally Christian priests have been prosecuted for assisting these frauds, including Rev Canon Dr John Magumba, a Ugandan who became vicar of a Church of England parish in Rochdale, Lancashire.

Rev Canon John Magumba, team vicar of three Rochdale parishes, was jailed for two and a half years earlier this year after admitting that he conducted 31 fake marriages and stole funds from two churches.

In November 2012 officers from the UK Border Agency raided a register office in Slough, where a Pakistani “bridegroom” who had overstayed his visa was about to “marry” a Polish bride.  A Border Agency spokesman said:
“We are working closely with registrars across the Thames Valley to clampdown on sham weddings and civil partnerships. Where there are suspicions that a relationship may not be genuine we will investigate and, if necessary, intervene to stop it happening.”

Now the BBC reports a new alarming trend: sham “civil partnerships”.  No doubt the authorities are afraid of being deemed both racist and homophobic if they dare to raise questions about these ceremonies between same sex couples, but the chairman of the association that represents local registrars has warned:
“Registrars have experienced a significant rise in the incidence of sham marriages since the legislation introduced to combat the problem was repealed in May 2010 as a result of High Court judgements.  What has been less obvious has been the incidence of sham civil partnerships, and I would certainly urge all registrars to be equally vigilant with regards to these ceremonies.  The reasons for suspicion are exactly the same as those for marriages, and registrars should not hesitate to report any suspicions to the UK Border Agency.”

With religious leaders under pressure to extend facilities to gay “marriages”, the trend is set to continue.

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