"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Neil and Emily

Neil tells his story below. Neil's story has also been covered in the local press : http://www.lep.co.uk/community/shock-as-filipino-wife-faces-being-thrown-out-of-britain-1-5505434

Neil's story highlights the nature of the attack - from both the rules and the way the rules are applied -  on the concept of British citizenship; the rights of the British citizen to live in his or her homeland; as well as the core values of family and normal human relationships.

'MY NAME is Neil, a British Citizen married to a Philippine citizen, Emily. I first met Emily whilst working in the United Arab Emirates, and we dated for several years before finally deciding to commit to marriage. In October 2011, we were married in Abu Dhabi and, not long after the wedding, to our delight, we found that Emily was expecting our first child. Naturally, this joyous news saw us begin to plan a new future as we looked forward to embracing the challenges of parenthood.

After our beautiful baby girl, Lucy, was born, we decided to visit the UK and introduce the new arrival to my large family in the North West of England. As you can imagine, they were desperate to meet my wife and daughter. We applied for a visitor visa for Emily and, when the application was successful, booked our flights and returned home for a visit.

Unfortunately, I soon received bad news concerning my job and I was forced to leave the company that I worked with for 15 years, in London and the UAE. With a baby girl to look after, we had to rethink our future plans and find a way to provide for our beloved daughter because, like any parents, we want the best for our child.

After some discussion, we decided that the best option for Lucy would be to return to my hometown of Preston. Apart from providing a safe environment amongst my large, loving family, had the interests of our beloved child at heart. We felt that Lucy would benefit from the world-renowned English education system - the education system I was schooled in, in my homeland, as a British citizen. I soon found new employment and we looked forward to embracing family life in my hometown.

I researched the process of moving back to the UK and dutifully gathered together the relevant documentation needed. On November 20th, 2012, we submitted a visa application for Emily, asking for leave to remain in the UK as the spouse of a British citizen. After a long wait, we finally received a reply from the UK Border Agency, on Monday 11th March, 2013, and we were horrified to read that our application had been denied. The words “Decision to Refuse to Vary Leave to Enter or Remain,’ burned into my mind as the wonderful future we had planned tumbled to the ground.

The three spurious grounds for rejection were:

1. Our marriage is not recognised as a valid marriage in the UK

2. We provided no evidence of the existence of our daughter, Lucy

3. Emily was granted leave to remain as a visitor and, therefore, does not meet the requirements of E-LTRP 2.1

I protest against these three grounds for a number of reasons.

1) Firstly, according to the information given on the UKBA’s own website, our marriage is valid in the UK despite the denials of the Border Agency. According to the website:

“In most cases a marriage certificate will provide satisfactory evidence that a marriage has taken place.”

Our marriage meets all of the requirements for a legal marriage in the UAE and we also made sure that our marriage certificate was verified, approved, and stamped by the British Embassy. This cost us time and money and, as yet, the UKBA has not had the decency to return our certificate, which is an ongoing concern.

2) In response to the UKBA’s ridiculous claim that my daughter does not exist, I can prove her existence and also demonstrate that she is a registered British Citizen with a British passport. I have the original birth certificate, written in English and Arabic, and we also went to the extra expense and cost of notifying the Consulate General at the British Embassy in Dubai, for which we received an official certificate. My question is, if this is the case, why did the UKBA fail to find information which has already been submitted to representatives of the British Government?

3) I am perplexed by the third point because, according to the information I read on the official website, we did nothing wrong. I am still at a loss to explain why the Border Agency is using a technicality to punish us. I visited the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and they also struggled to understand this third point of contention.

In the words of the UKBA, they plan to ‘remove’ my wife from the UK and send her back to the Philippines  if we do not appeal against this unfair decision. They have also told us that, should the appeal fail, my wife will not be able to return to the UK for another 10 years. Emily is my wife and the mother of my daughter, so what are we supposed to do?

This decision forces us to make a number of stark choices: we either have to accept that our family will be broken up by the actions of the UKBA, or I will be forced to leave my own country in order to keep my wonderful family together.

Apart from the stress that this is causing us, the action is also costing a lot of time and money.

All I want is to end this nightmare, and this injustice, to me and my daughter. We are British citizens, and we should be treated as citizens. And our family, our values, should also be respected and cherished - not dismissed.'

Today's links

The war on law.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark*. Whether by accident or design the Coalition is waging a war on law; not just judicial review. The Coalition is eroding the rule of law, undermining the protection of human rights and ushering in questionable changes to our system of justice. The evidence abounds. Taken separately these government policies would be a matter of grave concern. But together they form a picture that is most alarming, and should give us all pause for thought.

Really good piece.


https://twitter.com/BritCits tweets :
Not 'news' but no change for these families affected by #UKBA shambles

https://twitter.com/BritCits tweets :
Britcits returning from other EEA country exempt from economic migrant requirement for nonEU family. #UKBA confirms.

Mirrored here :

This could well be of practical use to some of those affected by the rules


Comprehensive list of LASPO resources.


'This page contains links to useful resources around the implementation of the new legal aid scheme from April 2013'.

UKBA - demanding better service for visa applications petition.


https://twitter.com/BritCits immigrant of the day :
Mark Webber F1 driver moved to UK in 1995.Son of motorbike dealer done proud Oz and adopted nation

https://twitter.com/freemvntblog tweets :
HURRAH! LAA - 0, Justice - 1; will this be the turning point? Let's hope so...

https://twitter.com/freemvntblog tweets :
Really interesting quite short analysis of where immigration policy has gone wrong by IPPR:

https://twitter.com/carternichola tweets :
'Home Office used heavily biased samples to argue..non-compliance rates in the student visa system were high...'

Seeking asylum in the UK: lesbian perspectives.


https://twitter.com/UkipTips tweets :
Calculate how many Bulgarians and Romanians are planning to come to the UK by asking some bloke down the pub

William Hogarth, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humours_of_an_Election


Irn Bru and Islam. Scottish identity.


https://twitter.com/N_FonCK tweets :
There is nothing more amazing than hearing peoples’ stories, it catches you,liberates you&connects you

https://twitter.com/MustafaJakupov tweets :
Hello Europe, #Roma aren't issues or problems, we are human beings, society has an issue for not giving us our basic human rights

https://twitter.com/econromesh tweets :
Immigration and innovation: welcoming foreign students critical to scientific progress

Pakistani prisoner cuts wrist, dies in UK.


https://twitter.com/MigrantVoiceUK tweets :
Principle peeping through? RT- Ed Miliband barracked on immigration as he reaches out to voters

https://twitter.com/NelsonMandela tweets :
"For as long as legitimate bodies of opinion feel stifled, vile minds will take advantage of justifiable grievances"
https://twitter.com/hey_preston tweets :
If @David_Cameron is so supportive of the institution of marriage, he should ask his Home Secretary how many she's breaking up @dontjudgemy

Japan and Russia want to finally end WW2.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Today's links

Plight of Mr and Mrs Bailey-Yamamoto.


A successful London businesswoman faces giving birth on her own because new immigration laws may force her Japanese husband to leave the country.


https://twitter.com/LaurieMGayle tweets :
Please sign this petition. The right to family life is universal. Being in love with a non-Brit is no crime!

Riddlesdown train deaths: Inquest hears Donna Oettinger died with her son in her arms


More : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/rip

Donna started to suffer from depression last April when her Egyptian boyfriend – Zaki’s dad, Mohamed Nasr – was not allowed to come and live in the UK because of Visa problems.

The angry friend yesterday said the tragedy should have been prevented. The pal, who did not want to be named, claimed: “It could have been avoided. It was waiting to happen because she has been let down, not by her family – they were the most supportive family – but by doctors and the NHS.


https://twitter.com/ianbirrell tweets :
Ten of the best migrant blogs: the reality, not the rumours & mis-reporting...

We're #4.

https://twitter.com/leahmclaren tweets :

Spoke to my excellent MP Andy Slaughter today who told me @ukhomeoffice has "no record" of my case. 2.5 weeks since I've seen my baby son.

A broken system forced me to take a risk which, as a new mother of a sick child, I should not have had to take. Feels forced to me.

Chagossians: Wikileaks cables not admissible in court.


I have posted on this saga before, which started with the Chagossians’ eviction from their islands in the Indian Ocean in the late 1960s and early 1970s, here, here, and, in Strasbourg, here. After a judgment from the courts in 2000, the FCO accepted that the original law underlying their departure was unlawful, and agreed to investigate their possible resettlement on some of their islands.


The human rights roundup.


Migrant Rights Network :
We’ve launched our 2012 annual report last week with a private view and drinks reception at 19 Princelet Street - Britain’s Museum of Immigration and Diversity. Here's what kept us busy in 2012.


And a wonderful event it was too, at a great venue!

https://twitter.com/vanesshughes tweets :
Several migration related vacancies on latest @migrants_rights newsletter: http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/news---

https://twitter.com/BIDdetention tweets :
Can't get our heads around the fact that without meaningful access to JR, detained clients will struggle to overturn unlawful UKBA decisions

https://twitter.com/JCWInews tweets :
Fantastic turnout 4 Into The Fire premiere at SOAS tonight, 120+. If you missed it, FireBox next Tuesday at 6.30pm. Check web 4 deets.


https://twitter.com/BritCits tweets :
Surinder Singh and "confused" #UKBA caseworkers.

Dear UK Border Agency,

I would like to know what instructions are given to caseworkers regarding applications made according to the Surinder Singh ruling.
Specifically to the EEA sponsor being a UK national, and after having exercised treaty rights by working in a member state, then returning to live in the UK with the spouse (Non EEA national) and not exercising treaty rights in the UK.

To my understanding caseworkers received a notification of an amendment to Regulation 9 of the EEA Regulations on the 20th May 2010, which stated that the UK national who is the EEA sponsor has only to show evidence of exercising a treaty right before returning to the UK and does not need to show evidence of exercising treaty rights in the UK.

Please confirm that this information is correct as the caseworkers at the UK Border Agency that I have had correspondence with do not appear to have knowledge of this ruling, although the Immigration Inquiery Bureau do seem to be fully aware of this ruling themselves.

Mirrored here : http://www.scribd.com/doc/138580402/Surinder-Singh-and-Confused-Caseworkers


https://twitter.com/BritCits immigrant of the day :
Ludwig Wittgenstein philosopher in LogicMathsMindLangua.Taught @Cambridge_Uni.CzechAustrian descent

He stayed here : 


Map of Europe, AD 1000 to now.


Sunday, 28 April 2013

The top ten fears of the African diaspora about Africa


"My heart actually breaks when I read or hear about Africa’s youth trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to get to the rich West to wash dishes in restaurants, clean toilets and look after elderly incontinent people. Were these fine daughters and sons of Africa to have a second thought, they would put themselves into better use and in their own motherland.”

Via http://www.metafilter.com/127467/The-Top-10-Fears-of-African-Diaspora-About-Africa

Crime doesn't rise in high immigration areas – it falls, says study.


https://twitter.com/WladyslawMejka tweets :
So the #Poles have come here and taken down our crime rates as well - what will UKIP say?

https://twitter.com/BritCits immigrant of the day :
Natasha Kaplinsky tv presenter @BBCNews @Channel5Press @itn_news @skynews Won @bbcstrictly Poland, Belarus, SA descent.

https://twitter.com/leahmclaren tweets :
Day 1 of punishing, unhealthy Dukan Diet as a protest against the UKBA separating me from my son. (Bourgeois hunger strike.) ( http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8895331/fortress-britain/ )


EU unveils plans to help migrant workers.


The European Commission has unveiled plans to improve the rights of workers who move to take up employment in another state within the EU.

The commission said there was no evidence migrant workers took jobs from nationals of the country they moved to.

It said high jobless levels in some states made it important to help anyone wishing to migrate for work.


If you're in London Monday, why not see 'Into the Fire' at SOAS, 6:30 pm?


Greece is in crisis. But the economic crisis is not the only one. An asylum crisis has gripped the country at this time of severe austerity. And it hits the most vulnerable: Refugees, including minors, who have left everything behind fleeing their countries to find safety.
https://twitter.com/lindayueh tweets :
Striking reversal: Remittance from Brazil to Portugal now exceed those from Portugal to Brazil, same Mexico to Spain

The people behind the prejudice.

Meet Everton. Everton is eight. He’s having a tough time at school at the moment. He comes from the Caribbean but is trying to get a visa to stay in the UK while his mum works here; she has permission to do so until the end of next year. He is distraught as his dad is in the UK’s armed forces, stationed abroad, and he desperately wants to stay with his mum for as long as she is working here. He doesn’t want to live with his elderly grandparents any more, and they are getting to the stage where they are unable to care for him properly.

The good news is that a judge of the first-tier tribunal has ruled that Everton can stay with his mum – for slightly more than a year. The bad news is that the Home Office is appealing against that decision. The expense of appeal, the work involved and the turmoil caused to this little boy has been deemed justifiable by the Home Office, all in the interests of keeping a schoolchild out of the UK for 13 months. The driver is the coalition’s promise to reduce net migration to ‘tens of thousands, not hundreds of thousands’. 
Sunday morning links

Home alone: British nationals and the denial of the right to family life.


The European Court of Human Rights is often criticised for compelling States to let in hordes of unwelcome foreigners. Yet, a group of Britons who currently live abroad and would very much like to come back home with their non-EEA partners or those who have come back home hoping to bring their non-EEA partners at a later stage are prevented to do so unless they meet a number of requirements, amongst others earn a certain amount of money. To make it clear, these are not individuals who have engaged in criminal activities or who have entered in sham marriages. Unfortunately, British nationals cannot even find solace in the so-called ‘generous’ case-law of the Court which is so criticised by the current government. The plight of these individuals is described here and, more recently, there. Testimonials are also available on some websites...


The European Commission has today proposed measures to ensure the better application of EU law on people's right to work in another Member State and so make it easier for people to exercise their rights in practice.


Good news for those doing the European route : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/another-resource-for-those-considering.html

https://twitter.com/RobertSYates tweets :
What better reason for a first tweet than the love of a good woman? Brilliant
https://twitter.com/leahmclaren on our immigration woes http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8895331/fortress-britain/

https://twitter.com/FascismWatchUK tweets :
the thing about @leahmclaren's case - http://ow.ly/kpsmu  is that it is not a horror story at all, this is normal experience for migrants

A visualisation of migration flows.


The UK is in the top ten as both a source and destination - our global country.

Flash cards for the new Life in UK test.


Seven year delay on immigration cases in the West Midlands.



https://twitter.com/BritCits immigrant of the day :
Korean Ha-Joon Chang,leading heterodox economist specialist in development economics

Unmarried Partner Visa with sick pay issue (success story).


From Norway to Afghanistan.


An all-too-rare voice post-deportation.
Via https://twitter.com/ncadc

https://twitter.com/britishfuture tweets :
US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia have given Afghan interpreters asylum. UK to decide not to (Times £)
https://twitter.com/freemvntblog tweets :
Family visit visa appeals to end July 2013: http://bit.ly/15WZh7h

Friday, 26 April 2013

More mendacity, and a call to votes
Via Facebook, posted by someone who is divided from her husband by the immigration rules :

This was just *2 weeks* before the income changes came in (not several months), but as we are sharing uncaring (and false) MP replies, here we go:

Dear Gary Streeter,

I am writing in relation to the interview I heard with Theresa May on the Andrew Marr Show this morning.
I am very concerned, because in April this year I married in India, my fiancée, who is an Indian citizen. I would like him to join me here in the UK, but, like many people in this area, I do not have a large income, certainly not of £18500, and although (thankfully) we have a place to live rent and bill free with my parents, I am very worried that this will prevent us ever being together.
It seems to me that this is targeting people who have less money, even though neither of us have any intention of claiming from the state. So many choices are taken away from poorer people.
I heard Theresa May saying these new rules will target immigrants who want to bring their family here, but I was born here and have lived here all my life. Will this policy affect me?

Yours sincerely,
Jenny S

The response is below :

Dear Mrs S,
Many thanks for your email, and I have a lot of sympathy with the points that you are making.
If your marriage is a genuine one, I have no doubt that in your case your husband will be permitted to come to this country. The problem we have is that there are thousands of bogus marriages every year in the UK and the people concerned tend to be those with low income for whom a few hundred pounds to walk down the aisle is attractive.
I will make sure that when government finally get around to introducing any changes (and I think this will require primary legislation and therefore is several months away), that the problems of those of us in low wage areas are fully take into account.

Best wishes,
Gary Streeter


Here's the timeline :

The news was starting to break that family reunion was about to become a lot more difficult - and soon - in early June 2012.
The article 'Exile or family breakup' in the Guardian on 8/June/2012 alerted many people that harsh rule changes were imminent :

The interview with Andrew Marr referred to in the letter was on 10/June/2012 : http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01jz5fh
Therefore the letter above was composed on 10/June/2012.

The new immigration rules were announced on the following day, 11/June/2012 : http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/newsarticles/2012/june/13-family-migration

The rules came into force on 9/July/2012 : http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/news/2012/ukba-summarises-changes-immigration-rules-effect-9th-july-2012

So for Gary Streeter MP to assert that :
If your marriage is a genuine one, I have no doubt that in your case your husband will be permitted to come to this country.

... is simply false, and outrageous, as the cat was out of the bag.. It was already clear at this stage that harsh, draconian measures were being introduced - measures that would hit many, many people.

AT LEAST 47% of Britons in employment : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/introduction.html .

In fact, the figure may well be higher because of the 'edge cases' of people whose income streams may be above the income requirement but not counted for whatever reason. People such as Marianne, who has multiple income streams which aren't counted ( http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/marianne ). Or people who struggle with the evidential requirements and the associate bureaucracy of a settlement visa nightmare, such as Gerard ( http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/gerard ). Even someone who is clearly articulate and talented as a journalist for the Spectator magazine! http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/8895331/fortress-britain/

My own intuition tells me that the figure of Britons now unable to bring a non-EEA spouse or partner into the country is some way north of 50% - maybe far to the north. Let's see, because more and more horrific cases will emerge.

And of course the elderly dependants route has now effectively been closed ( http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/introduction.html - According to one of our sources, as of 5th January 2013 only one dependant relative visa has been granted worldwide since the rule changes in July).

Language requirements have become much harder.

And the road to indefinite leave to remain has gone from two years to five years, which is setting people up for failure as it makes it much much harder to find employment in the UK.

We're hearing reports that some employment agencies aren't accepting registration from people on pre-ILR visas for example. Effectively, the toxicity of the debate has legitimised the exercise of prejudices.


At this stage, I think the issue is that not just the rights of migrants are under attack - but the rights of British citizens to a family life are also under attack.

And beyond rights, the values of family and natural human relationships are under attack. It has become normal to divide a mother from her children ( http://www.jcwi.org.uk/blog/2012/11/27/skype-mummy ). To divide husbands and wives. To drive a British citizen to the point of suicide because of the agony of separation ( http://libertygb.org.uk/v1/index.php/news-libertygb/external-news/4070-donna-oettinger-husband-reveals-agony-of-learning-about-wife-and-son-s-death-on-the-internet ).

This is seen as acceptable as the parties race to the muddy bottom.

This is an unprecedented attack on the family, and on the notion of citizenship itself, and on the way we as human beings relate to each other ( http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/nando-sigona/uk-migration-policy-we-need-to-talk-about-citizens ).

British citizens and migrants of every background need to stand together to resist this attack. We really are 'all in it together'.

It needs to be made an election issue. We need to take a leaf out of the book of the migrant rights movement in the US, the DREAMers ( http://www.dreamactivist.org/ ) and others, and organise.


Think about this :

In many constituencies up and down the country, the migrant vote (not to mention the votes of their British citizen partners and family) would be enough to swing the election either way.
('Migrants can be kingmakers in 2015 General election' - http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/blog/2012/08/migrants-can-be-kingmakers-2015 )

And with the unprecedented attack on migrant rights, more and more migrants are choosing to take the path to citizenship. Whereas previously, EU migrants for example would feel secure enough in their position to remain as simply EU migrants, now they are increasingly feeling the pressure to become British citizens to normalise and secure their status.

And citizens have votes. Not just a voice, but votes.

On the flip side, every British citizen with a non-EEA partner, children with a non-EEA partner, and a non-EEA elderly dependant has become an activist. Not because they want to, but because the attack on family forces them to.

I think it's time to make those voices heard, and those votes count.

Friday links

Immigrants' benefits: a complicated system explained.


No recourse to public funds is stamped in the passport of every non-EEA partner.

Since July 2012, greater wealth is required to come to the UK. There are new financial requirements, which must be met either from income or savings or a combination of the two. For a couple, if just relying on income, a gross annual income of £18,600 is required. If the applicant has and wishes to bring any children, an additional £3,800 gross annual income is required for the first non-British child and a further £2,400 for each additional non-British child.

These new requirements have meant a much larger group of people than before are struggling to qualify under the immigration rules and fear separation or having to go abroad to live together. For many the difficulty is qualifying in the first place. If the foreign national partner can get leave to come to the UK or to remain in the UK as a spouse they will be barred from having recourse to public funds, but they will be allowed to work.


Immigration officials are failing victims of domestic violence.

The culture of disbelief prevalent among officials shows a lack of understanding of the private nature of domestic violence.


By Colin Yeo of http://www.freemovement.org.uk

'My constituent arrived in Scotland from England in 2007 after fleeing from a violent
relationship... '
: http://www.snp.org/sites/default/files/news/file/bruce_to_may.pdf // http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/barry-francisca-and-millie-francisca.html

19, Princelet Street:
A tour of the synagogue haunted by Rodinsky, which aspires to become a museum of immigration.


Life Without Papers.


“Can I come over and photograph you getting Dyanna ready for school?” I’d asked. A strange request but Ruth understood that I needed some images of her daughter to continue the story.

Dyanna barely knows me but is happy enough to let me photograph her eating rice pudding for breakfast. It’s one of the tins we’ve got from Oasis and it is, Ruth says, her favourite food.


https://twitter.com/BritCits immigrant of the day :
Composer Gustavo Holst-Brit,Spanish,Swedish,Latvian,German descent.Attended Royal College of Music

https://twitter.com/JCWInews tweets :
Surinder Singh and EU route to family unity:

https://twitter.com/MigRightsScot tweets :
Good to meet @BritCits @sjplep @The_FIA @freemvntblog @JCWInews @migrants_rights network summit. #Familyimmigration high on the agenda #FF

https://twitter.com/jcumisky tweets :
Dear Britain, I want to come home. Loving a Russian shouldn't be a crime punishable by exile. Please let me back in...

https://twitter.com/PhotoMadd tweets :
we hope our case will be resolved soon, has put a lot of stress on our marriage.Our local MP @TimFarron has been fantastic with us

https://twitter.com/ncadc tweets :
A devastating story showing the damage UKBA does to people's lives, and loves

https://twitter.com/ncadc tweets :
Immigration and asylum news round-up, 26 April

Czechs and Chechens : They both start with a C

https://twitter.com/MigrantVoiceUK tweets :
The idea that #climatechange will lead to mass migration is highly exaggerated

https://twitter.com/Heather_Rolfe tweets :
'Poverty migration', surges & tides - the rhetoric shaping German debates on Romanian/Bulgarian migration

https://twitter.com/MigrantVoiceUK tweets :
Romanian And Bulgarians Peeved As BBC Mixes Flags Up In Immigration Debate

https://twitter.com/19pst tweets :
Somalia to Scotland, told in @writerkcampbell's beautiful Book at Bedtime, This Is Where I Am.

https://twitter.com/BritCits tweets :
#Immigrants or kids have found 40% of @FortuneMagazine 500 companies in @unitedstates

https://twitter.com/PatrickStrud tweets :
Why is NO ONE brave enough to say, 'I don't care how many people come here. Immigration poses no threat to anything or anyone'?

https://twitter.com/scotyounggreens tweets :
You can get rid of illigal immigration by ceasing to call human beings 'illegal'

https://twitter.com/ncadc tweets :
Why does @Independent refer to teenager exercising right to apply for sanctuary as "illegal immigrant"?

https://twitter.com/ukcisa_students tweets :
The UKBA has stopped accepting City&Guilds English language certificates issued in Bangladesh. Read the announcement

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Barry, Francisca and Millie

Francisca tells her family's story. More on this story here : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/save-millie-and-her-mum-from-deportation.html . Her online petition is here : http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-millie-and-her-mum-from-deportation.html . Francisca's campaign page is here : https://www.facebook.com/groups/147515488760221/

'OUR FAMILY is in the verge of being separated due to the UKBA rules, not allowing me, Francisca Canales, to acquire the right of residence here in the UK.

My daughter Millie was born in the UK. She has no understanding of her mum’s (my) home country. Why does she need to be deported too?

Barry Nicol and I have been in a relationship for four years and we were planning our wedding last year, just before UKBA sent us a letter asking me and my daughter to leave the country. Just before they took my passport.

We are expecting a baby, due in August. I am currently waiting for my appeal hearing to take place at the Tier 1 Tribunals in Glasgow, Scotland. I will then be 7 months pregnant.

We hope our appeal is successful. We didn’t have to go as far as an appeal, I know I clearly have gained the right of residency but UKBA has ignore the fact that my previous relationship was violent and hence why it broke down.

I, Francisca, have studied and worked here in the UK, paid all my taxes and never claimed a penny of benefits, always being transparent and loyal to the UK system, yet we are being punished for that?

I had secured a job in a well paid position at an insurance company, and due to the UKBA failing to provide the right documentation to my ex employer, I have now lost my income and all my maternity pay, and my employer had to let me go.

Millie is currently undertaking therapy with the Stirling Women’s Aid. 

Due to the stress this is causing our family, she cries constantly. 

Millie has created a circle of family union here in Stirling with Barry’s family. She now has grandparents, aunties, cousins, and friends at school. 

Why would you deny Millie, the right to family life? Take her away from school to learn a brand new language, brand new culture, away from her friends, everything she knows of?

Barry has no knowledge of my mother tongue. He’s never been to my home country. All his family live here in Scotland, and they are all looking forward to welcome our new baby.

Why would you deny this baby, and Barry’s family, the right of family life?

Taking me and my daughter away from the UK will mean that Barry will have to stay behind in the UK to work for us or simply making a move to my home country. 

Why does he need to choose between us and his own home country, the UK?

Why do you punish him and us for being in love and wanting to have a family? 

I want my unborn baby and his father together, but the UKBA is trying to make this impossible!

The UKBA is responsible for taking my income, my sanity, my health. What else do you want to take from me? 

My whole entire life, all that we have built here?

We pray and hope our appeal is successful.

Message to Theresa May:

I ask you to consider the new rules with full common sense, and how do they affect families, real families, couples, and children!

We are not terrorists. We pay our way. We contribute to the UK system. And yet we are punished.

Can your caseworkers at the UKBA use common sense when dealing with applications?

Our applications are lives, not just piles of paperwork. We also pay for our legal fees and all our applications.

I hope you use your full discretion on this matter. Please see how many families have been and will be divided because of the poorly set out *rules* of the UKBA.

Yours faithfully,

Francisca, Millie, Barry, and baby Nicol

Douglas grew up in England and has worked and paid tax for the last thirty years. He is caught in a battle with the UKBA to obtain a visa for his wife and two children who are currently residing in Lagos, Nigeria. 

 Douglas is facing complications in proving his salary as he is self-employed. Due to this complicated process, Douglas feels he has been denied the right to bond with this 2 month old son; since his birth he has only seen him for a period of 10 days. 

In the words of Douglas “I will never be able to get these moments back, such as missing his first smile.” This separation affects the wider family, not just Douglas. His parents are elderly are therefore incapable of making the journey to Lagos, and have therefore they yet to meet their new grandson.

In addition to the emotional distress the 9th July changes are causing Douglas and his family it is has put a strain on his finances. The only opportunity he has to see his family is by traveling to Nigeria, as his wife and children are not eligible for a visit visa as the UKBA believe they could overstay their visa. Therefore, he has to fly to Nigeria at his own expense in order to see his family. 

On top of the flights Douglas must also pay the $125.00 for a Nigerian visa. Douglas is sending money to his wife as she is caring for their infant child and consequently unable to work. Additional expenses involve private health care, as Nigeria does not have a national health care system. 

  Douglas is in the position of having to financially support two households as opposed to one if his wife and children were allowed to join him in the UK. In order to afford this Douglas has rented out the rooms in his home and is currently sleeping on the sofa bed in his living room. Douglas feels this is absurd. If he were allowed his right to family life, his income would be spent in the UK, therefore making a greater contribution to the economy.

According to Douglas, the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) denied his family from entering the UK as “nothing is stopping Douglas from living and working in Lagos”. However Douglas believes this officer neglected to take enough time to review Douglas's situation, as he also has a son from a previous marriage, therefore relocating to Lagos is not an option as it would require Douglas abandoning his son in the UK. 

  Douglas states, “How long does the UK government think I can continue to send money to Nigeria or do they prefer me to abandon my wife and sons?”  
Today's links

My battle with Britain's mean, ineffective immigration system.

‘Controlling immigration’ means being rude to foreigners — as I found out.


I won’t bore you with the intricacies of my immigration tale, but suffice to say it involves several visas, much ping-ponging across the Atlantic, a 36-hour border detention, over £10,000 in fees (legal and governmental), acres of paperwork and absolutely no hate crimes, terrorist activities or benefit applications on my part. The problem is not that I don’t qualify — I do. I have a British son and partner and a long history of legally living and working here off and on over the past ten years. But Britain doesn’t want me, or any new immigrants, at the moment.

I had the opportunity to attend the MRN annual summit today, and spoke briefly about BritCits as well as exchanging ideas and meeting some really interesting people. I'll write more about it at a future date, but face to face events like this really help to move things forward.


https://twitter.com/Sharehoods :
Don't under-estimate the power of stories to build a counter narrative to general media opinion on

London migrant hubs mapped.


We’ve found and mapped 70 community-based organisations dedicated to assisting migrants old and new.

Two years after Prime Minister David Cameron first set out his position on immigration, Channel 4 News asks four newcomers to Britain how life has changed for them.


https://twitter.com/BritCits immigrant of the day:

https://twitter.com/curtisosano , Kenyan footballer for @AFCWimbledon.Moved to England at 9 when dad joined British army

Evidence and values - the UK migration debate 2011-2013.


In the two years since the Migration Observatory was launched in March 2011, immigration policy has consistently been a major issue for the UK’s policy makers, media and public. The coalition government has made a series of significant policy changes aimed at reducing net migration, among other goals, while migration continues to be among the most important issues on the agenda according to public opinion polls and is extensively covered in the news media.


JCWI is delighted to host Into The Fire on our website. We are co-hosting three public screenings of the film, to which you are warmly invited. Each screening will also have a Q&A with one of the film makers and a guest speaker


Bradford Muslims rally to save synagogue from closure.


Man found dead on London street 'was probably stowaway who fell from plane'.


Africans in Roman Britain.


Academics want to shed light on how diverse the country was dating as far back as the 4th Century.