Group seeks sham marriage measures10th May 2011
Campaigners have called for registrars to be given the authority to delay suspected sham marriages by up to three months.
Migration Watch UK said the move would allow proper investigation of suspicious marriages and deter bogus applicants.
UK Border Agency figures show that more than 150 people have been arrested since last summer on suspicion of being involved in fake marriages.
The campaigners spoke out in the wake of the scrapping of new UK immigration laws to tackle sham marriages, following a ruling by judges at the European Court of Human Rights.
The certificates of approval scheme had been credited with reducing the number of couples tying the knot in register offices in the east London borough of Newham by 72% in its first two years.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the Migration Watch UK, said: “Sham marriages are a huge cost to the taxpayer as they admit the bogus partner to the full panoply of welfare benefits, including housing.
“The courts have given full weight to the human rights of applicants but none to those of the taxpayer.
“Tougher measures, proof against further appeals, are now needed to deal with the situation that has resulted.”
As well as the power to delay suspicious marriages for up to three months, tougher checks were also needed for those with marriage certificates who applied for leave to remain in the UK, he said.