The Corner

Keeping it in the family

Re: my aside that in civilized societies admission of spouses is a non-discretionary form of immigration, a British reader writes:

Does that go for the arranged marriages of Pakistani ‘Britons’?  No doubt you are aware this has become a way of transporting a whole villages to the UK. How many spouses can Mohammad bring over? Can he marry a British born Pakistani, move to the UK, and then marry a girl from ‘the old country’ and get her into the UK too?

Moreover I can think of two more or less civilised societies which do limit spousal immigration. Denmark no longer automatically grants such residence, and more famously Israel will not allow the reunification of Israeli Arabs with their Palestinian spouses in Israel. Seems both countries are exercising some discretion.

It’s true that certain Yorkshire towns and Scandinavian cities now operate to Mirpuri marriage practice. Yet I’m still not entirely comfortable with denying the right of a Dane to fall in love with a Romanian, or a Texan to fall in love with a Fijian. But that’s where mass unassimilated immigration eventually leads: rather than crack down on specific cultural phenomena, western governments find it easier to restrict the rights of everyone.

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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