Ann and Craig
Craig is a Scotsman from the Highlands. Ann is a young Chinese woman who has relatives in the North but her life was in Hong Kong.
On one of her visits here, Ann met Craig and over six years ago, they got married in Inverness. They hadn’t planned to stay in Scotland as Craig had secured a teaching job in Hong Kong. They left right after the wedding to start their lives together and Ann continued in her employment there.
Early in 2012, Craig and Ann decided to return to Scotland, not realizing the immigration conditions were in the process of change. The English language test was already a requirement so Ann made sure she took it, as she needed to take it in the country of origin. She passed. The couple gave up their apartment, sold their things and both left their jobs, hoping to start afresh in Scotland, perhaps even start a family.
Since Ann and Craig got back in October 2012, their lives have been a nightmare.
As a British citizen, Craig had had no idea his relationship would be under such scrutiny, that his marriage would be judged so severely judged. His hope to return ‘home’ has put their lives in a precarious position. Craig has not been able to find work. He is training to be a hazardous substances lorry driver as it is the only thing he can find, but he is not guaranteed work. In any event, he is unlikely to reach the required £18,600 minimum income to satisfy the UK Border Agency when applying for Ann’s visa to remain here. Ann’s potential to earn is not even considered. They are currently living with Craig’s parents.
Ann and Craig face a stressful, uncertain few months ahead. In 2013, she will have to leave when her current visa expires. There are no easy solutions for Ann, except in UKBA terms, family separation. In a civilized country, they can have no expectation of a private, family life any time soon.
"A civilised country should not be separating people who married in good faith and have their future ahead of them": Joan Ruddock MP
At the People's Assembly yesterday, Guy Taylor of https://twitter.com/JCWInews made a fantastic speech on the Divided Families Campaign and promoted Divided Families Day on 9th July.
The assembled throng :
#pplsassembly think we had 4 top table speakers and 18 contributions from the floor in immigration / racism session at #pplsassembly :)
Good #pplsassembly speech by @GuidoTallman calling on left to be less timid confronting racism in immigration system. Shame not more of this
Lord Brown: We do not, indeed must not, outlaw unpopular minorities—prisoners, asylumseekers, immigrants—we must not outlaw even the wicked.
Quote from #pplsassembly session on immigration yesterday : 'Lynton Crosby is a migrant worker. Rupert Murdoch is a migrant worker!'
although true for Crosby, not sure how Murdoch can be labelled 'worker' in any sense!
so is the head of the Royal Mail and the Bank of England - Canadians!
Head of BoEngland's wife is cool. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9704385/New-Bank-of-England-Governor-Mark-Carneys-wife-an-eco-warrior-who-says-banks-are-rotten.html
Would an independent Scotland have a different immigration policy?
In a sense, the more extreme demographic circumstances in Scotland have made more widely apparent what has already been recognised in many cities in central and northern England and in Wales, where asylum dispersal has brought benefits and local authorities have tried to ensure that refugees remain and don’t drift to London.
It’s a message that rarely gets across, and of course is anathema to pressure groups like Migration Watch and has never been championed by senior politicians in Whitehall. Perhaps those of us with an interest in changing migration policy in the UK should campaign for an independent Scotland, and look forward to the benefits of a more modern policy becoming evident in a few years time, north of the border?
Trafficked into the UK are victims, not criminals
Asylum seekers: nowhere boys.
Around 1,200 children arrived in Britain seeking asylum last year – often alone, and after long, harrowing journeys hidden in freezers or under lorries. We find out what happened next
VISITORS from India, Pakistan, Nigeria and other “high risk” countries in Asia and Africa will be forced to pay a £3,000 cash bond before they can enter Britain.
From November, a pilot scheme will target visitors from seven countries who will have to pay the government a form of cash guarantee or deposit to deter immigration abuse. They will forfeit the £3,000 if they overstay in Britain and fail to return to their home countries by the time their visa has expired.
http://globalvoicesonline.org/ chronicles our changing times from a global perspective. Check in with them.