40 000 face deportation from UK

Bulawayo Bureau—
British Members of Parliament have warned that plans to deport skilled migrant workers who earn less than £35 000 per year and originate from non-European Union (EU) countries will create a skills shortage in the economy. At least 40 000 migrants, among them Zimbabweans, will be affected by the new regulations which come into effect on April 6. The new earnings threshold will particularly affect those in low skilled jobs. The United Kingdom Office of National Statistics reported the Zimbabwean population in Britain increased from 47 158 in 2001 to an estimated 200 000 in 2010.

The proposals, which were mooted by the UK Home Secretary, Mrs Theresa May, were recently lambasted by MPs at Westminster Hall during a parliamentary debate examining the UK’s immigration policy.

UK media reports say the discussion offered the first official platform for MPs to analyse the policy, which was pushed through the House of Commons in the absence of a parliamentary vote in 2012.

The threshold could lead to thousands of Zimbabwean teachers, charity workers and those employed in the National Health Service (NHS) being deported from the UK if they fail to meet certain financial criteria.

The new immigration policy means non-EU workers who have lived in Britain for five years will be required to prove they earn £35 000 (US$50 000) to avoid deportation. However, workers who fall into the category of Shortage Occupations, will be exempt from the measure.

Although nurses and doctors are currently exempted from the earnings threshold, May said they were likely to be affected in future should the government decide to take them off the Shortage Occupation List.

Scientists and researchers in PhD level jobs will also be exempt from the earnings test. Others that could be widely affected are students. Britain’s Stop35k campaign says it understands the need to curb migration, but argues that a £35 000 minimum salary across all sectors is simply too high.

The group says the new policy will cost the UK government hundreds of millions of pounds at a time of austerity, and will also displace valuable employees. Stop35k has launched a petition against the threshold, calling on the government to delay implementing the policy.

A petition on the website of the UK parliament in support of a rethink has since attracted more than 110 000 signatures. Mr Joshua Harbord, who set up the petition, recently told The Independent that he decided to take action because he knew a number of “incredibly upset and scared” people who were set to be affected by the changes had no one speaking up on their behalf.

The debate was attended by seven Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs, three Tory MPs and two Labour MPs. Ms May did not attend the debate and her decision to send junior minister Mr Richard Harrington in her place sparked anger among critics and the opposition.

Labour MP Mr Keir Starmer expressed concern, saying the threshold could create grave skills shortages in the UK economy. Speaking during the debate, SNP MP Mr Kirsten Oswald branded the threshold “overly simplistic” and “crude.”

Other MPs argued it failed to heed varying wage levels across the UK. SNP MP for Edinburgh East Mr Tommy Shepard called the measures “ludicrous” and said they failed to take into account “regional variations” across the UK. He warned the policy would further imbalance Britain’s economy.

The plan by the British government has been met with condemnation from opposition parties and sections of British society who argue the new earnings are “discriminatory” and likely to starve Britain of vital talent in the teaching, charity and entrepreneural sectors.

Mr Carmichael, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, told The Independent: “Britain must remain open for business — we should be looking to attract the best and brightest not turn them away. Discrimination based on income fails to take talent and new sectors like tech start-ups, whose staff might be paid less than £35 000, are essential in keeping the UK at the forefront of the global economy.”

From April 6, only those that earn £35 000 and above a year will be eligible to apply for “indefinite leave to remain” once they have lived in the UK for five years.

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  • Tsotso

    Ehe come home kwamakadzidza vatengesi imi!

    • Ijaha le Maguswini Amnyama

      You are an idiot. The very government that pushed these “vatengesi” is benefiting from their remittances.Come home to do what? .Carry placards for Grace and dance for Mugabe at airports.Some people don’t have “hearts”

    • hunzi007

      Ko havauyi here? Ko kudzidza kwapinda papi? Ko unoita mutengesi wotiza nyika yako here? Statement dzako dzinongotaridza kuti Uri munhu akaita sei. Ndotype dzekubuda neshona bedzi pa O level idzi.

      • Tsotso

        Kkkkkkk aaaah bruru sorry, O level yangu yapinda papi zvawati kudzidza kwapinda papi? Shows kuti left cant tell what the right hand is doing. Pamwe ndosaka uchizviti hunzi007. Hunzi unoiziva here?? Rambai muchipemha, tichaona kuti munosvikepi muchingotyisidzirwa kwamuri kunge musina kumusha.

  • http://sn.wikipedia.org Tinovaziva

    Misleading headline and why on earth does the writer sound gleeful? Do they not know about the money that Zimbabwe receives from those in diaspora and how it helps our tattered economy?

    • http://masimbamusodza.co.uk Masimba Musodza

      Zimbabweans enjoy it when other Zimbabweans are in difficult circumstances, especially when Zimbabweans try to better themselves then come crashing down.

  • @tura81

    Time to rebuild our beloved nation

    • Tsotso

      Say it again baba!

  • jethro Zuwarimwe

    I am really disappointed that in this time and age we still have people with the mentality like yours

  • Zanu yawora

    Son of a deranged **. Idiot

  • anon

    The kids are surviving precisely because someone is sending money home to provide where the government had utterly failed. Why do you think this government is desperate to beg South Africa to keep Zim workers – because it knows it is keeping afloat from these remittances and knows such a mass of workers in their prime would give it a headache if they were to come home because it has nothing to offer them. Pfungwa ngadzisapfupika .

  • DangerMan

    You are a fool. Your head is full of feaces. People have freedom to pursue whatever makes them happy. If someone wants to live abroad they are free to do so. Iwe you dont qualify to get a visa to travel anywhere due to your stupidity. Kabias remunhu.

    • Tsotso

      Aaaah kabias is you who works to enrich another household. Huya kuko tizive kuti uri murume.

      • DangerMan

        Ndiite airtime vendor sewe. Uri zibenzi wanzwa. Enda kunotengesa airtime uko utinyararire. Kabias.

  • MweniTafara

    The injustice of this civilization or lets call in chaos is tantalizing, why deport skilled workforce on the basis of underpayment? The problem is the employer because every skilled worker deserves fair salary.

    African curses are numerous;
    1) Underpaid or slave labour
    2) Racial prejudice
    3) Sending money to Africa the charges are 100 fold
    4) Making a phone call to Africa charges are treble
    5) Traveling to Africa flights are expensive
    6) Publish a book on world market from Africa, the royalty is 30% when other folks get 70%

    Poverty in Africa was created for us or transferred to us, I know folks who used to eat uncooked dogs in Caucasus Mt are now billionaires upon imperialism.

  • Rawboy

    Might be a blessing in disguise. <£35K in the UK particularly the South east is a pittance.Just about enough to survive on. This might just be the impetus for a life changing decisions for some maZimbas hey.

    • hunzi007

      I dont think you are weighing the option of earning £35K per annum in the UK and coming to a country without its own currency due to exhilarating inflation to earn Zero US$ per annum. In Zim we are struggling to put food on the table but these guys in the UK are struggling to buy a stand or finishing a house in Zim. I think you will appreaciate differences in these two worlds better. The majority or enmasse is suffering…….tltlt

      • Rawboy

        You correct I’m not.However,should this piece of legislation kick in,there really isn’t much of a viable alternative than heading on home and making the best of it IMO.

      • ZAnoneZA

        And all those farmers you kicked out and killed years ago, must have been hard for them to re-adjust to life and start from nothing. I think the UK should have done this year’s ago.

  • Bvanyangu

    Vazhinji va ma citizens kikikikikiki

  • Jambanja

    It is surprising to hear some people still wanting to remain in Britain developing that country. It is shear madness. Remittances on their own do not develop country. What Zimbabwe wants are people to come a work developing the country. Do not forget Mugabe will soon be gone but Zimbabwe remains. Modzingwa mave Kuchema, get back and do something for your country for God’s sake.

    • hunzi007

      Ko vari muno vacho vamboitei chatinoona. UZ is taking two intakes a year and most of these gradutes will not be employed worse off diploma and certificate holders. I m sure im reading your parallel ideas with what is on the ground. There is going to be a massive retrenchments on public service and you still need a burden of more of unemployed able performing workforce that will put more pressure on public health care etc. For your own information these Zimbos in good countries still enjoy free health care and you want our nation to have this extra burden they can not handle currently. Unomboziva here kuti even government yacho is depending on these remittances thus why they are doing massive skill production than what they need. The private sector is in critical care with industry in Zim still having archeological machinery that the west can buy at high price as antics to place in their museums. I have travelled world over and one thing i can attest is Zimbabweans in this country appear to be clever for nothing.

  • vmwhere

    Only affects Tier 2 visas

  • sajeni_chimedza76

    Most Zimbabweans in the UK are British citizens or have Permanent Residence anyway.
    We are recognised by the UK government as “British Zimbabweans” because most of us and our children hold British Passports.
    So these changes won’t affect us at all.
    The Zimbabwean community has been in the UK for the past 10 – 20 years.
    We are settled and established in the UK.
    Gone are the days ekuchengeta chembere.
    People have moved on.
    A good many Zimbabweans have settled well in the UK and are doing very well.Some have very good jobs, have their own businesses and own houses in the UK.
    Hapana nyaya apa.
    The Herald stop creating a story out of nothing.
    Nxa!

    • ZAnoneZA

      And yet you aren’t European, makes you think doesn’t it.

  • ZAnoneZA

    I think what would be easier is just to send the useless Zimbabwean’s home.

    Don’t beat around the bush, just say you don’t want them there. They say that they don’t want you in their country, just do exactly the same and actually deport them.

  • Brian

    Reading some comments from fellow Zimbabweans I can see,vanhu vari ku UK vaka markwa,sorry folks we are here to stay,Zimbabwe we only come for visits,and take your women on our short stays coz UK is far ahead.live with it.

  • http://masimbamusodza.co.uk Masimba Musodza

    Australia is actively recruiting British-trained nurses, so its selection criteria can’t be that strict. I know several Zimbabweans who have made the transition. This recent change in the law is only the final impetus, but these other Commonwealth countries have been offering their own incentives. Like you said, it’s an individual choice. The main point is that contrary to the purport of this article, Zimbabwean professionals are not in difficult times. The Zimbabweans who are suffering are the failed asylum seekers.