THE number of British Asians bringing in spouses from the Indian subcontinent has doubled over five years, prompting warnings that the practice is helping to perpetuate ghettos.
Instead of integrating over successive generations by marrying in the UK, some Asian communities are fuelling segregation through arranged marriages to overseas partners, according to a report by Migration Watch UK, an independent think tank.
The report reveals that the number of spouses and fiancÃ©s from the Indian subcontinent doubled between 1996 and 2001, when 22,000 were granted entry into Britain.
It is estimated that 60% of Pakistani and Bangladeshi marriages in Bradford in 2001 involved a spouse from the subcontinent. Almost a third of all children born in Bradford now have foreign mothers. In the London borough of Tower Hamlets the figure is 68%.
Last week Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, warned of “walls going up” around some Asian and black communities living in ghettos, which he defined as districts where two-thirds of residents belong to a single ethnic minority.
Phillips said the number of people of Pakistani origin living in ghettos had trebled between 1991 and 2001.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch, said: “If Mr Phillips”s warning that we are “˜sleepwalking into racial segregation” is not to be realised, we must face up to an issue that is one of the root causes of this problem.”…
Racial segregation is the least of the problems involved in this.
Jusna Begum, 22, from Wapping, east London, was forced by her parents to marry a man from Bangladesh 20 years her senior. “I realise now that he only married me for a UK visa,” she said. “But he couldn’t get a job because he didn’t speak English.”
Green said he did not advocate a total ban on arranged marriages: “I don’t think you can ban someone’s culture.”