Primary documents and the APPG
Selected submissions to the APPG inquiry of immigration and family life. Mirrored from :
BritCits : http://www.scribd.com/doc/149254237/appg-britcits
'All parties claim families form the bedrock of a strong and stable society. However, rules brought in by a government we did not elect, fail to recognise the basic right of families to live together under one roof.This is a right which should never be violated, certainly not in a country purporting to be a democracy.'
Family Immigration Alliance : http://www.scribd.com/doc/149254301/appg-fia (main website : http://familyimmigrationalliance.wordpress.com/ )
Lucy : "My partner will not be able to join me until I am earning £18,600, which could be up two years away for me. He will not be able to support me and be there for our child as I qualify [to be a teacher]. A scary prospect for me and a sad one when I think of how his and our baby’s relationship will be affected. We talked about extending the length of time that we spend visiting each other; 6 monthshere and 6 months there for the next 2 years but of course that will cost money and as a single parent and a student I don’t know how I’m going to be able to earn the sort of money that we will need and I won’t be able to spend long periods outside of the country whilst training to become a teacher."
Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants : http://www.scribd.com/doc/149254379/appg-jcwi (main website : http://www.jcwi.org.uk/ )
'Through our legal casework and in our campaigning we are aware of dozens of cases of children separated from one parent, a further financial strain imposed on families who areunable to live as one family unit (paying two rents etc.). This often makes saving impossible or difficult for those wishing to make up any income shortfall.'
'There are markedly more women finding difficulty in raising the required minimum income, either through low paid jobs or because of childcare commitments. We are representing a young woman whose spouse has been refused a visa to the UK. She has a young baby son, isexperiencing health problems and is struggling to care for their baby, let alone try to earn£18,600.The impact on this family, especially the child in question is immense, whereas the impact on society would be far less if her husband were to be allowed a visa.'
The Hansard for the Westminster Hall debate on the family migration rules, 19 June 2013.
Mirrored from :
'It was described to me by one lawyer as a ban masquerading as a rule...' - Sarah Teather.
'There are so many people in my constituency in Lewisham, Deptford, in London who are getting only the minimum wage. I have a case of a woman whose husband cannot be reunited with her. She is a support worker, which is a valuable job in the community, on £12,800 a year. She is on the minimum wage and fully legal, but she cannot bring in her husband. Surely that cannot be fair.'
- Joan Ruddock
'It is clear that jobs and the income from those jobs are not relevant when families are forced to live apart. The income requirement would exclude almost half the UK working population from living with their husbands or wives if they were from outside the EEA. That seems unfair. Should they have to move overseas? We heard from a number of families whose child care commitments prevented them from relocating overseas, or who had other caring duties in the UK—for example, for elderly parents—that meant that the family had compelling reasons to wish to settle in the UK.'
'In addition, we heard from a number of hard-working, tax-paying British citizens who were determined that being effectively forced out of their own country should not be the only way in which they could live with their spouse and children. I think most of us would have the same reaction, were we in that situation.'
- Virendra Sharma
'The response of a number of people in my constituency has been simply to leave the country. '
- Julian Huppert
'To help the Minister appreciate how we, as constituency MPs, are being affected, I want, without mentioning names, to highlight some of the cases that have been brought to me in recent weeks. One constituent grew up in my area and has been living in Canada. She is now in a permanent relationship with someone in Canada. They both have skills and want to bring them to this country, but they cannot come here together. Given the industry in which they work, and given the wages in places such as north Cornwall, there is no way they can come here and meet the threshold. They would be able to live without recourse to benefits because they would have access to housing and so on, but they cannot meet the threshold. Effectively, someone who wants to return to Cornwall will be unable to do so, and she will have to stay in Canada. '
- Dan Rogerson
'Last week in my constituency, I was told of a young woman who has been forced to take three jobs to try to meet the income requirement and bring in her spouse.'
- Kate Green
'It is important to understand that we are not talking just about poorly paid, poor-quality, low or entry-level jobs. The inquiry committee heard evidence from the Royal College of Nursing that health care workers can typically earn between £14,153 and £17,253, so they would be below the income threshold of £18,600. Pay levels in many other sectors, such as retail, security, administration and customer service, and in the public sector, are likely to mean people will not meet the threshold. That is unfair to UK sponsors, many of whom have lived here all their lives—people who are British-born, of British families—who cannot fulfil the income requirement. Those people make a valuable contribution to the economy and provide services that we all depend on. They are being told, in effect, that they cannot carry on living in their own country with their spouse. They are shocked and surprised to find that out.'
- Kate Green
'...However, I have raised the issue privately with the Minister; an individual working full time on the minimum wage would be below the threshold set. The test set by the Prime Minister was that people should be doing their best. Preventing someone who has taken a full-time job that only commands the minimum wage from bringing a partner with whom they have fallen in love into the country seems to me to fail the test of fairness.'
- Gavin Barwell
'I referred earlier to a constituent of mine whose wife is Canadian. I want to fill in a few points about his case. His wife had the right to be in this country; she had taught here for three years. He was a high earner. The two of them established a relationship that led to marriage. They went on honeymoon to Canada completely unaware of the rules, and he, unfortunately, had been made redundant. They were shocked. He wrote an e-mail to me, which I have just received, saying, “Can you imagine a worse way to start your married life?”'
- Joan Ruddock
The APPG report itself :
The stories below highlight the sheer range and diversity of those affected by the rules - people of many cultural backgrounds, including those whose families have been in Britain since time immemorial; and all income levels. The one thing they all have in common is that the government is seeking to separate them from those they love - in many cases by offering a false choice :