Opposing the Rules
An introduction to what the new immigration rules mean for many people is here : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/introduction.html
Since 9th July 2012, a variety of different civil society groups have coalesced to oppose the new rules and, just as importantly, share information, support and solidarity with this affected.
On 9th July, the Migrants Rights Network and Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants organised a demonstration outside the Home Office, attended by around 100 people. This was followed by a debate in the Grand Committee Room of Parliament which was chaired by Lord Judd. Also present were the MPs Keith Vaz, Fiona McTaggart, Kate Green, Virendra Sharma, and Jeremy Corbyn. Subsequently, Lord Avebury and Baroness Smith have made important contributions in raising the profile of the debate. You can follow the activities of all your representatives (and subscribe to updates) via http://www.theyworkforyou.com/ .
Groups present at the demonstration or at the debate included: Family Immigration Alliance, Migration Policy Group (also MIPEX), Southall Black Sisters, Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group, British Institute of Human Rights, Bail for Immigration Detainees, Kanlungan, Action for ESOL, Migrant Forum, and UNISON. Additionally, Migrants Rights Scotland has taken the lead in campaigning against the rules north of the border
Some pictures of the demonstration are here and there is a summary of the debate here.
This concise summary of the rules (now in the House of Commons Library) makes specific mention of civil society groups opposing the rules. The Family Immigration Alliance has also written about this here.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration (in which Kate Green and MRN are involved) is collecting evidence of the effects of the rules on families. Please submit your evidence here - this is your chance to influence the debate in Parliament. The APPG also has a Twitter feed.
There is also an online petition opposing the rules: here - http://www.change.org/petitions/theresa-may-new-uk-immigration-laws-are-tearing-families-apart-change-them-now?utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=url_share&utm_campaign=url_share_before_sign . Please sign it and show your support!
More links :
'United by Love - Divided by Theresa May'. The JCWI paper outlining the impact of the rules and potential case studies of those affected. This was an early summary of the situation and was and remains very useful. The JCWI - which is among Britain's most distinguished migrant rights campaign groups - has chosen to focus its campaigning on 'the plight of divided families' - this is an important boost to the campaign against the rules.
'Immigration in the year ahead: Five things we think will be on the agenda in 2013.' An important direction-setting piece by Migrants Rights Network.
'The new family migration rules - what you can do if you are affected.' By the MRN.
'Keep families united - over to you now.' By the JCWI.
'Have your say on the Home Office's family immigration rule changes!' By Migrants' Rights Scotland.
Raza Husain QC on the legal challenges to the rules. A very good summary - worth listening to several times. Mr. Husain is one of the UK's leading immigration lawyers.
Free Movement. A very good immigration law blog which has comprehensively covered the introduction and challenges to the rules. Also very good as a general background to immigration law.
Migration Observatory and MIPEX are great sources of statistics and other kinds of hard data. The following are must-reads :
'Women, young people and non-Londoners are most affected by changes to immigration policy.' (Migration Observatory)
'Can't buy me love.' (MIPEX)
Blogs : The Family Immigration Alliance and us, britcits.com - submit your story!
Twitter feeds of people affected by the rules, or those campaigning against the rules : https://twitter.com/jcwinews https://twitter.com/migrants_rights https://twitter.com/MigrantVoiceUK https://twitter.com/UniteFFFL https://twitter.com/britcits https://twitter.com/MigRightsScot https://twitter.com/APPGMigration https://twitter.com/The_FIA https://twitter.com/freemvntblog https://twitter.com/sjplep https://twitter.com/zykovj https://twitter.com/MRCF_london https://twitter.com/ncadc https://twitter.com/MigObs https://twitter.com/RozziP https://twitter.com/emmabmoussa https://twitter.com/damarthapa https://twitter.com/andyrussellshao https://twitter.com/GrannyMarmalade https://twitter.com/ZrileB https://twitter.com/noneisillegal https://twitter.com/Truptitweets https://twitter.com/londrisso https://twitter.com/hudsonlw https://twitter.com/FairImmNow https://twitter.com/lineb2 https://twitter.com/gbdavid2 https://twitter.com/LaraMascaraNYC https://twitter.com/juanenlaciudad https://twitter.com/patelsmie https://twitter.com/donflynnmrn https://twitter.com/grayfur https://twitter.com/kel14185 https://twitter.com/MargaretMoneron https://twitter.com/GuidoTallman https://twitter.com/SarahKorkmaz https://twitter.com/robertjarvis3 https://twitter.com/RennisoNicola https://twitter.com/LisaAnbare https://twitter.com/saidanbare https://twitter.com/zarozania https://twitter.com/amandausta https://twitter.com/Cola87Nana https://twitter.com/JamesTurner37 https://twitter.com/WNSNews
Facebook : Transpondia, 'I Love My 'Foreign' Spouse: defend the rights of cross-border couples', 'Unite Families - Fight for Love' , and 'UFFFL Pics' are very active groups.
YouTube : Skype Mummy and Skype Daddy.
Freedom of information requests. Our experience indicates that UKBA is somewhat reluctant to give out information on the impact of the rules. We do have some ongoing FOI requests here . You can submit your own FOI requests (and follow others) using this site : http://www.whatdotheyknow.com . A tweeter who is very good at pursuing successful FOI requests : https://twitter.com/brianckl .