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UK High Court overturns interim immigration cap

A UK High Court ruled Friday that a temporary immigration cap on skilled workers cannot stand because it was passed without sufficient parliamentary review. The court held that Home Secretary Theresa May [official profile] attempted to sidestep Parliament [BBC report] in enacting the temporary cap ahead of a permanent cap set to take effect next April. Judges ruled that May's attempt to circumvent parliamentary review violated the 1971 Immigration Act [text]. The government will have an opportunity to introduce the measure before Parliament in January. Immigration Minister Damian Green [official profile] said the government might appeal the ruling [Reuters report], but does not believe that this decision on the temporary cap will affect the permanent cap.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) and the English Community Care Association (ECCA) [advocacy websites] filed their challenge to the cap [Independent report] in September. The temporary cap was announced in June [BBC report]. The caps affect only skilled non-EU workers, a segment of the immigrant population that some advocacy groups assert are vital to the UK economy [IPPR press release]. Officials argue that the temporary cap is necessary to avoid a flood of applications from immigrants seeking to enter the UK before the permanent cap goes into effect.

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