"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.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Lobby your MP!

Sample letter below.

Dear ,

As your constituent, I am writing on behalf of the ‘Divided Families Campaign’, a UK-wide campaign for highlighting the impact of the new rules on family migration. I would like to invite you to a meeting in Committee Room 10 of the House of Commons on Tuesday 9th July from 18:00 to 19:30.

I am shocked and disturbed by stories of people who have been separated from their spouses, partners, children, or family members as a result of the income threshold introduced in the new rules, or of the excessive evidential requirements, or of the impossibility of sponsoring elderly dependants. The changes aim to make it more difficult to sponsor spouses and partners, or elderly dependents, to come to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). I believe these changes are unfair and I would like for you to attend this meeting to hear how it has impacted me and other like me from around the UK.

Stories which include : A son earning over £100,000 unable to sponsor parents because of rules which are impossible to meet and deemed a ban masquerading as a rule; a young mum with a second chance at love forced to choose between her kids from a previous relationship living in the UK and her husband overseas; a gay mum with twins unable to return to UK to have her civil partner’s status recognised for the security of their babies; debt-free pensioners forced into working for income they don’t need; armed forces personnel who risked their life for our freedom being denied a right to their family file; British ex-pats wanting to return to look after British parents find barriers to re-entry are too high if they have a non-EU spouse or child. Skype families trying to conquer long-distance & time-differences through a screen; Brits forced into exile with their families.

The meeting will be chaired by Baroness Ruth Lister. It will bring together campaigners, supporters and parliamentarians to hear about the impacts of the new rules. The meeting will welcome valuable public servants including Maggie Atkinson, the Children's Commissioner for England, and will be a chance for families to share their stories.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration recently launched a report into the impact of the rules, a copy of which I am pleased to attach. I would be very grateful on your thoughts on the findings of this report.

If you cannot come to the meeting, I would also ask that you write to the Home Secretary, and to the Immigration Minister, Mark Harper MP, asking for an explanation of why policy has not changed as a result of the APPG on Migration’s report published on 10 June this year. 

Thank you very much for your time and I earnestly await your reply.

Yours sincerely,


GPs told to charge non-Britons for NHS services

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/29/jeremy-hunt-immigrants-free-nhs-services

Presumably a lot of doctors and nurses won't be able to access NHS care then ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2010/nov/10/nhs-health ). Policy-based evidence-making, once again.

I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient; - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_of_Geneva
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From a Newark deli to Jersey City Hall, Fulop family has made a long journey.

http://www.nj.com/essex/index.ssf/2013/06/from_a_newark_deli_to_jersey_city_hall_fulop_family_has_made_a_long_journey.html#/10

My old councilman, from when I lived in New Jersey. He still sends me Facebook birthday greetings every year.
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A reminder -

Support the right to family life!
http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/support-the-right-to-family-life

On 9th July!



---

And keep lobbying your MPs to attend! A sample letter is here :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/divided-families-day-of-action.html

Dear ,

As your constituent, I am writing on behalf of the ‘Divided Families Campaign’, a UK-wide campaign for highlighting the impact of the new rules on family migration. I would like to invite you to a meeting in Committee Room 10 of the House of Commons on Tuesday 9th July from 18:00 to 19:30.

I have been separated from my spouse as a result of the income threshold introduced in the new rules, which aims to make it more difficult to sponsor spouses and partners, or elderly dependents, to come to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). I believe these changes are unfair and I would like for you to attend this meeting to hear how it has impacted me and other like me from around the UK.

The meeting will be chaired by Baroness Ruth Lister. It will bring together campaigners, supporters and parliamentarians to hear about the impacts of the new rules. The meeting will welcome valuable public servants including Maggie Atkinson, the Children's Commissioner for England, and will be a chance for families to share their stories.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration recently launched a report into the impact of the rules, a copy of which I am pleased to attach. I would be very grateful on your thoughts on the findings of this report.

If you cannot come to the meeting, I would also ask that you write to the Home Secretary, and to the Immigration Minister, Mark Harper MP, asking for an explanation of why policy has not changed as a result of the APPG on Migration’s report published on 10 June this year. 

Thank you very much for your time and I earnestly await your reply.

Yours sincerely,

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Croatia set to join EU!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23118035
4EUFam and EU wide travel - the complete guide

http://www.immigrationboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=30020&sid=3effec071f7468c7e4af5e331e993e5c

You can travel visa-free throughout all of the European Union IF :

    You are travelling in possession of a "Residence card of a family member of a Union citizen"
        In Ireland this is the 4EUFam-Card

    AND together with the EU family relation

    OR joining the EU family relation at your destination!

The applicable law is >>Directive 2004/38/EC<<, Articles 5 and 10



A most useful guide to Surinder Singh. He has actually written off to quite a few countries asking if his wife needs to have a visa to travel when she is in possesion of the Irish Residence card.
For future reference

UKBA on Surinder Singh applications.

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/policyandlaw/guidance/ecg/eun/eun2/#header14

For future reference, in case the website ever 'changes' in the future. Taken 30/Jun/2013.


EUN2.14 Can family members of British citizens qualify for an EEA family permit? ('Surinder Singh' cases)

As a general rule, family members of British citizens do not qualify for an EEA family permit. Article 3 of the Directive essentially says that an EEA national cannot be considered as exercising freedom of movement in their own State -

    This Directive shall apply to all Union citizens who move to or reside in a Member State other than that of which they are a national, and to their family members as defined in point 2 of Article 2 who accompany or join them.

However, where an EEA national has exercised a treaty right in another Member State as a worker or self-employed and they wish to return to their own State having exercised that right, certain provisions may apply in order for their non-EEA family members to qualify under the EEA Regulations.

A British national and his / her non-EEA national family members can only benefit from free movement rights if they meet the criteria established in the ECJ case of Surinder Singh. The case stated that nationals of a Member State who are exercising an economic Treaty right (that is, as a worker or self-employed person) in another Member State will, on return to their home state, be entitled to bring their non-EEA family members to join them under EC law.

Example: A British national is exercising an economic Treaty right in Germany and living with his non-EEA national spouse and children. On the British national's return to the UK, his non-EEA national family members can apply for an EEA family permit to join him under EC law.

The Surinder Singh judgment is incorporated into the EEA Regulations in Regulation 9. Family members of British nationals who meet the requirements of Regulation 9 are treated as family members of EEA nationals for the purposes of the EEA Regulations.

Applications for EEA family permits must meet the following criteria:

    The British citizen must be residing in an EEA Member State as a worker or self-employed person or have been doing so before returning to the UK.
    If the family member of the British citizen is their spouse or civil partner, they are living together in the EEA country or must have entered into the marriage or civil partnership and have been living together in the relevant EEA country before the British citizen returned to the UK.

Because EEA nationals have an initial three months right of residence in the UK, there is no requirement for the British national to be a qualified person on arrival. Therefore, an EEA family permit can be issued to the non-EEA national family member of a British national even if they are only visiting the UK with the British national before returning to the Member State where they are resident.

It does not matter if the only reason the British national went to another Member State was to exercise an economic Treaty right was so that he / she could come back to the UK with his / her family members under EC law.

The ECO should seek advice from ECCCAT where unsure about the decision to be taken in applying the Surinder Singh judgment.



How Surinder Singh works :

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EU rights clinic - another useful resource.

http://blogs.kent.ac.uk/eu-rights-clinic/contact-us/

'Collectively helping you with citizen's rights.'
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Support the right to family life!

http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/support-the-right-to-family-life






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https://twitter.com/MigRightsScot :
Lets get this PETITION to @Number10gov on 9/7! Support #Right2FamilyLife 4 British families sep'd by Immigrationrules
http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/support-the-right-to-family-life

Report on the impact of the new 2012 spouse visa rules with recommentations

http://www.scribd.com/doc/150780718/Report-On-The-Impact-Of-The-New-2012-Spouse-Visa-Rules-With-Recommendations

by Marianne Bailey, https://twitter.com/BaileyYamamoto

' One British married womanʼ's family, who were clearly more than self-sufficient were in threat ofbeing torn apart by the new 2012 Spouse Visa Rules. The new rules would force her to give birth and care for their newborn alone, indefinitely. After a 5-month wall of silence from Ministers, indesperation she contacted her local paper, which ran a newspaper article of their situation. Theyreceived overwhelming support from the British public and were encouraged to start a petition.'

'... This report is composed of 35 British citizenʼs familiesʼ personal stories and recommendations whowished their story to be submitted directly to Rt. Hon Theresa May MP and to Parliament in orderto make the new Spouse Visa rules fit for purpose. Compiled and arranged by one British motherto be, who could not let these heartbreaking tragedies and abuses against British families continue.'

Saturday, 29 June 2013


Support the right to family life


http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/support-the-right-to-family-life

https://www.facebook.com/migrantsrights :
Have you signed our petition on family migration yet? We will be taking this to No10 Downing Street on the 9th of July, so it's really important we get as many signatures as possible. Thanks to everyone who signed so far.
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Five pioneering international students who risked life and limb to reach England before going on to become the architects of modern Japan are being celebrated by a University College London event.

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/tablet/ADC57C53/2005090.shared

The story of the so-called “Chōshū Five”, a group of Japanese noblemen who studied at UCL 150 years ago, is testament to the transformative power of global higher education. The most eminent of the quintet was Hirobumi Itō (1841-1909), who rose to become four-time prime minister of Japan, the father of its 1889 Meiji Constitution and a key player in the University of Tokyo’s creation.
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https://twitter.com/immigrationuk_ :
#ukimmigration #protest - JCWI to stage protest over UK immigration laws affecting families - http://goo.gl/CTlbI
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Six QCs representing 10,000 barristers accuse the Justice Secretary today of “wiping away” 400 years of legal history in 40 days.

In a letter to The Times, the six circuit leaders say that the right to choose a lawyer and the right to a fair trial “have been tenets of British law for centuries”. Yet legal aid changes proposed by Chris Grayling would end them, they say.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/law/article3783655.ece
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https://twitter.com/migrants_rights :
Great piece from @helenwarrell in the FT: Cameron puts the brakes on Home Office plans for migrant security bond: http://on.ft.com/19q0l6g
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https://twitter.com/BritCits :
Brit High Commission:bond wont cut across UKs being open to Indias tourists, students and business.. Who is left?!
http://newindianexpress.com/nation/India-waiting-to-hear-from-UK-views-on-bond-for-visa/2013/06/29/article1658658.ece
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https://twitter.com/BritCits :
£3000 bond suggestion should serve as wakeup call to India though migration benefited UK,not created segregated state
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/opinion/comments-analysis/why-india-must-understand-britains-fear-of-immigration/articleshow/20823194.cms?curpg=2
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https://twitter.com/donflynnmrn :
Visitor bond schemes not the answer to the problems of immigration | Sarah Mulley and Alice Sachrajda http://gu.com/p/3gqvy/tw 
A desperate husband writes to his MP

And we are sharing the letter here. It summarises the pain and desperation felt by those affected by the rules, as well as the stonewalling from the government's apologists.

At his request, this submission is anonymous, but we felt it important to share.

'Dear 
'Thank you for your letter dated 25th June relating to family migration. I have written to you a few times this year as one of your constituents regarding my current situation in that I am unable to meet the £18,600 criteria. What saddens me is that you only quote back to me things I already know, having been in this nightmare scenario for the past  year. I have researched this and lived with this every day so am more than acquainted with the rules, most politicians will not address the actual facts and implications surrounding these rules. Firstly anyone living outside of the EU who wishes to come to live with their spouse or partner has clearly stamped  in their passport ….NO  RECOURSE TO PUBLIC FUNDS….this has been the case even before the new rules. So how can the government say the rulings are in place to make sure that your partner is not a burden on the state. If they have no recourse to public funds whatsoever how does that make them a burden on the state? they have no rights to the NHS without paying for it, they are not eligible for benefits of any kind until they get permanent residency.


'What irritates me greatly is that I was born in Lincolnshire and lived all over the country during my 57 years and now find myself in the position that I am at a total disadvantage compared to someone coming from the EU into this country. They can come to the UK and have recourse to public funds, they have no ridiculously high visa fees to pay during entry to the UK and further fees during a further five year period to pay either. They do not have to prove over a five year period that their marriage is genuine and jump through so many hoops in order to have a family life here. Why can’t common sense be applied? I was born here paid my taxes and national insurance, worked hard and then to be told that to enable me to have a family life here it now comes with a price tag attached. I should be allowed to marry who I choose to marry and have a happy life, not be targeted because the only way to bring down the immigration figures for the government can only be achieved by targeting people from outside the EU knowing full well they cannot target those from within Europe as they have freedom of movement.


'You mentioned the MAC report in your letter, but it does not take into account the different areas of the country that people live in. You are only too aware that within  Lincolnshire the £18,600 threshold would not be meet by a large proportion of people due to the salaries that are paid in this part of the country, yet families here manage on the salaries that are paid here, we can’t all be living in London and the south of the country for obvious reasons.


'I know find myself in this ridiculous position of still being self- employed and having to apply for jobs all over the country simply to to meet this new criteria. This week I had an interview in Coventry for a Design Studio Manager and had to go through the process of three interviews. I was slightly embarrassed when I was asked why I wanted to move from Lincolnshire and why at this time I wanted to not work for myself and work for an employer. I was honest enough from the outset and told them that I had to meet certain rules now to enable me to get married here in the UK and have a family life here, and salary was the main criteria I had to have to achieve this. I passed all the interviews and was asked to contact them the next day for my thoughts on the job, sadly I did not get the position solely because I was unable to relocate quickly enough and start work next week. That day cost me over £98 in train fares and taxis, money I can ill afford to lose having just my savings to live off every week. This is the crazy situation that this government has forced me into.


'What this government fails to take into account is the personal cost in human terms. This situation is a living nightmare for me, I have sleep problems, constantly worry, I am a virtual recluse spending every waking hour on my laptop applying for jobs, I barely have contact with people any more because my total focus is trying to get my fiancée to be with me here so we can get married and have a happy life, it surely is not asking too much is it?


'On a final note, Christmas Day I sat here all alone and did wonder about people like yourself, sat around your dining table with your family having a happy time. In comparison I had nothing, and had the worse Christmas imaginable, spending it apart from the woman I love dearly. I looked out of my window and my new- eastern European neighbours who had recently arrived in the UK were receiving their visitors, and for once in my life I was envious of someone else. Food for thought indeed!



Yours sincerely

Your constituent 

Friday, 28 June 2013

Amanda

'I too am in the same situation as many others. I have a partner who is a Filipino and together we have a one-year-old son.

'My son and I are both British citizens.

'We are in despair over the new visa rule that I must earn £18,600 for my partner to be able to enter the UK.

'I do work but I don't earn this amount, it's impossible to do so when I am really classed as a single mother in this country.'

Women, young people and non-Londoners most affected by changes to family immigration policy : http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/press-releases/women-young-people-and-non-londoners-are-most-affected-changes-family-migration-polic 

 Amanda's story highlight the discriminatory impact of the rules on women in particular.

They also highlight the stupidity of the argument that the rules are about protecting the taxpayer. How does forcing a woman into single parenthood protect the taxpayer?
Petition going to Downing Street -

Via email from Migrants' Rights Network -

We've just heard that on 9 July we will have the opportunity to deliver our petition calling for a review of the Family Migration Rules to No10 Downing Street.

We now have exactly 10 days to double the 2500 signatures we've got so far!

Ask your friends to sign this petition and show their support!


http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/support-the-right-to-family-life
New flyer - thanks very much to the anonymous artist who did this !

The parliamentary meeting at 6 pm on 9th July is way over capacity now, so registrations have been closed. They'll re-open if ... a bigger room can be found, I suppose.

But, all the organisers STILL want people to come to the demo outside the Home Office. Every indication is that it'll be a great turnout and a great event. There'll be chance to socialise later for those so inclined.

We also need people to lobby their MPs. While we don't want to let the politicians hog all the speaking time (time will be set aside particularly for campaigners and people affected by the rules), it would be good to have a few MPs to lobby.


A list of the MPs at the debate on the APPG report on family migration is below - you can find their email addresses on parliament.uk, and many are on Twitter :

Labour :
Jon Ashworth, Jack Dromey, Roger Godsiff, Kate Green, Mark Lazarowicz, Kerry McCarthy, Alison McGovern, Fiona Mactaggary, Seema Malhotra, Anne McGuire, Ann McKechin, Albert Owen, Joan Ruddock, Virendra Sharma, Keith Vaz, Alan Whitehead

Lib Dems :
Alan Beith, Julian Huppert, Tessa Munt, Dan Rogerson, Sarah Teather, David Ward

Conservatives :
Gavin Barwell, Andrew Bridgen, Mark Reckless,

DUP :
Jim Shannon
Sattar

This story particularly brings home the desperation and the cruelty of rules towards people who especially deserve a level of respect that UK’s immigration rules prevent us from providing; people who have raised their children so that we, British citizens, can have a better quality of life.

Sattar is not a British citizen. Neither is his wife. He is however the father of a British citizen – Dr Faisal, living in London. The July 2012 rules introduced two conditions which prevent Sattar from continuing to reside in the UK with his wife and son.

Sattar and his wife have been living in the UK for four years, initially on Sattar’s work visa. However tragedy struck when their youngest son living overseas died in an accident. It is not in the natural course of things for parents to have to bury their own child and the resulting trauma took its toll on this family.

Sattar and his wife were devastated; it’s something they naturally found hard to come to terms with and experienced psychological issues as a result. Sattar was unable to continue his work as usual, becoming mainly financially dependent on Dr Faisal, living with him in London.

Under the previous rules, Sattar would have been able to switch from his work visa to obtaining Leave to Remain under the family route, as parents of a British citizen settled in the UK as soon as he was 65. However, in July 2012 when the rules changed, Sattar was four months short. Four months. And now he’s facing a lifetime away from his family. A lifetime living in isolation, away from the son on whom he is dependent; the son on who he has come to rely on more and more because of tragic circumstances which no one could have foreseen.

Sattar feels that these immigration rules fail to recognise the relationship between parents and their children...be the children adults themselves. As much as Sattar and his wife need their son, Dr Faisal himself needs the emotional support only his parents can provide. This interdependency is interestingly recognised and appreciated as far away as Australia – a country renowned for strict immigration rules…a country where parents of adult citizens and residents are encouraged to come join their family when they are younger, healthier and more able to integrate.

Dependency between family members is much more than what is portrayed as a one way matter only. Unsurprisingly, Sattar states that if he or his wife were in such a precarious medical condition as required by the rules, to be already on their death bed, they would have no interest in immigration – if it was a matter of just waiting to die. They want to live…live with their son, support each other..all with no recourse to public funds.

This is a classic example of the need to recognise that family bonds continue through grandparents, parents, adult children, grandchildren, and between siblings – the value of these relationships should not be obscured by portrayal as extended family of less significance.
Jenny

'I am British and have been living in Australia for the past 9 years.

'I have an Australian husband and 3 year old daughter. I was 20 when I met my husband and I didn't think there would ever be a problem for us to return to the UK further down the track.

'My daughter can get a British passport and is able to come to England. The new rules mean I would have to go to England and find a job that pays a large salary before I could bring my husband there.

'This is totally unrealistic for us. I am a stay at home mother here in Australia and have been since my daughter was born. I couldn't leave my daughter here with my husband, yet I couldn't bring her to England with me and put her into a daycare full time when she has never been looked after by strangers. Especially after moving her half way around the world.

'To top it off she would be separated from her dad, - all while I'm trying to find a job that pays such a huge sun, that has hours flexible so I can look after my child single handedly while my husband is left in Australia.

'Impossible for us.

'The new rules seem very unfair for families like ours.'

Spotted on Facebook

'I am a UK citizen who met the woman of my dreams during my volunteering stints to Ghana less than six months ago, to which she is Ghanaian, and we are now happily married :) With the increased restrictions on non-EEA residents being allowed into the UK we are now considering moving to the 'Eurozone' in line with this Freedom of Movement Directive, so I will become an EU citizen as opposed to British as per overall continental law. '



‘Immigration rules are destroying my family’


'A new mum who claims who claims that her family has been torn apart by immigration rules is set to take her fight to Westminster.

'Shelley Hornby-Baaouani, 28 who lives in Great Denham married her husband Walid in Tunisia in December last year, two months before their son Rayen was born.

'But Walid has missed his first son’s birth, and big chunks of his early life, after problems calculating Shelley’s salary, as a result of new Home Office rules, have meant that the application will not be reviewed again until October.

'And even though the salary comes to over the required £18,600 a year Shelley claims that immigration officials unfairly calculated it by her lowest pay slip and multiplied that by twelve months.

'The mum, who works at Luton International Airport, said: “How much of this child’s life has he got to miss just so this government can prove a point.

“I just don’t think it’s fair that someone in the government can decide whether I can have my husband and if my child can have his father here.”

More : http://www.bedfordtoday.co.uk/news/local/immigration-rules-are-destroying-my-family-1-5226500

The UKBA are destroying my family, Facebook support group :
https://www.facebook.com/TheUkbaAreDestroyingMyFamily
Jade

A young mum claims ‘it is one rule for the rich’ after being told she must earn £18,600 before her husband can move to England.

http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/news/local/braintree/10153588.Braintree___My_husband_is_banned_from_the_UK_/

Jade el Jaghaoui, 21, of River View, Braintree fell in love with 24-year-old Merouane, who is from Morocco, in 2007 when they were both living in Spain.

She returned home in October 2010 hoping he could join her soon and became even more desperate after finding out she was pregnant a few weeks later.

In July 2012 immigration rules changed meaning a partner must earn £18,600 to bring a non-European spouse to join them.




Steven

Steven

'I am a UK citizen and my partner is Australian. We wish to move back to the UK for a number of reasons.

'My father was ill last year. My grandparents are very elderly. I wish to spend some time with them. 

'I am currently in the UK trying to find work so that we can get our visa but am struggling to find anything above 18,600 at the moment. 

'We have a time line after which my average earnings for the past 6 months will be too low and we will no longer be able to apply for the visa unless I have worked in the UK for 6 months. So by wishing to live in the UK we must potentially spend almost a year apart or else I have to live in permanent exile.

'The other option is for me to exercise treaty rights in another EEA country. This is not our first choice but frankly while it is in place we will use this route if necessary. It is unjust and unfair that we find ourselves in this situation.'

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Zambrano

Those who've been following our Surinder Singh coverage ( http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/surinder%20singh ) may also be interested in another landmark case - Zambrano.

http://www.freemovement.org.uk/2011/03/08/zambrano-case/

... the European Court of Justice seems to have held that the parents of a child who is a national of a Member State must be granted the right to work and the right of residence in that Member State in order to protect the right of the child to live in Europe.

This is an astonishing proposition, if my reading of the case is correct, and represents a massive extension of the principle in the Chen case.
New flyers. BritCits need YOU to be in Westminster on 9th July. Solidarity.











http://www.jcwi.org.uk/blog/2013/06/24/streets-come-westminster

http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/divided-families-day-of-action.html

http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/blog/2013/06/divided-families-day-action-one-year-anniversary-new-family-migration-rules
Family migration not even fair for UKBA's own caseworkers

http://www.gherson.com/blog/family-migration-unfair-for-ukba-caseworkers/

As the momentum of public opinion builds against the immigration rules relating to family migration, it appears that even some employees of the Home Office would not qualify to bring a foreign national spouse to UK.

A quick search of Civil Service job postings indicates that the UK Border Agency are not even paying their staff what they deem to be a sufficient amount to support your family. For example a Caseworker position in Manchester will draw a maximum salary of £17,377, over £1000 short of meeting the financial requirement. A Border Force Assistant Officer position at Gatwick Airport will be £57 over the threshold, if the employee is lucky enough to draw the maximum salary for this position of £18,657.

This demonstrates one of two things, either the Home Office staff aren't paid enough or that the threshold to meet the financial requirement of family migration is too high.
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https://twitter.com/JCWInews :
If you think the family immigration rules are appalling, join the day of protest on 9 July
http://www.jcwi.org.uk/blog/2013/06/24/streets-come-westminster



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https://twitter.com/APPGMigration :
Working hard on family migration (2nd debate in @UKHouseofLords), access to free healthcare, and party conferences. Busy few weeks.
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https://twitter.com/APPGMigration :
The @ukhomeoffice & @DefenceHQ reviewing armed forces immigration rules with the family migration rules
http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2013-06-24a.160650.h&s
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Border guard suggestion infuriates GPs.

http://bma.org.uk/news-views-analysis/news/2013/june/border-guard-suggestion-infuriates-gps

Doctors will not become immigration agents, deciding if patients are eligible for NHS care, medics have declared.

Medical professionals at the BMA annual representative meeting in Edinburgh expressed their fury at government suggestions that doctors should check the eligibility of non-UK patients seeking treatment.

BMA GPs committee deputy chair Richard Vautrey (pictured right) said: ‘Doctors are many things. They must not become immigration officers and border guards.’

Dr Vautrey said GPs had become used to being blamed by the government for the problems facing emergency medicine and other issues in the NHS.

‘The focus has turned to the crime of GPs treating patients in need, GPs treating the asylum seeker or the refugee, GPs treating the vulnerable and those who need our care,’ he said.



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Indications emerged yesterday that Nigeria would impose a £20,000 visa bond on UK visitors if a planned £3000 bond on Nigeria pushes through

http://facenaija.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/fg-to-impose-20000-visa-bond-on-uk.html
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Illegal immigrants should be given a one-off amnesty allowing them to remain in Britain, in a “seismic” policy shift designed to improve relations between the Conservatives and ethnic minorities, a prominent Tory MP has said.

Nadhim Zahawi’s provocative call will put him at odds with the party’s leadership, which strongly opposes the move, although it has been advocated by the London Mayor, Boris Johnson. Opponents argue that offering an amnesty would make Britain a magnet for immigrants.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/grant-all-illegal-immigrants-an-amnesty-says-conservative-mp-8677600.html

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UK’s visa bond: Yet another reason to skip London.

http://www.firstpost.com/world/uks-visa-bond-yet-another-reason-to-skip-london-904405.html

British home secretary Theresa May or she may not. But even the idea that the UK could demand a 3000 pound bond from tourists it deems “overstay” risks has caused Indians to hyperventilate into a righteous uproar. The proposal has been called “racist” and “discriminatory.”

There are threats of retaliatory measures. David Cameron is being threatened with electoral doom if Indian-origin Brits turn their back on him in 2015. We have worked ourselves up into a lather of indignation. Rightly so. It’s not like the Brits paid any bond for overstaying their welcome in India back in the day and as a friend pointed out they certainly didn’t send their “best and brightest”. Poor Narendra Modi! Just as the Brits seem about ready to give him that coveted visa finally, poor Modi might need to follow in Tagore’s footsteps and renounce it saying “The time has come when badges of honour make our shame glaring in their incongruous context of humiliation.” 
 ---

Unfair. Discriminatory. Unacceptable. Racist. These are just some of terms being used to describe the proposals by Home Secretary Theresa May to impose a £3,000 bond on visa applicants from ‘high risk’ countries, a list that includes India, Ghana, Nigeria, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The pilot visa bond system would start in November and require that visitors from the selected countries would have to pay a £3,000 bond, to be refunded when they left the country – provided they had not overstayed. It has been suggested that this policy would eventually be rolled out to other visa categories such as work permits and student visas.

http://www.blackfeminists.org/2013/06/27/visa-bond-african-asian-tourists-racist/
Welcome

BritCits on Newsnight :
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03674td/Newsnight_25_06_2013/

Surreal to see the humble parish of britcits.com there.

The World Tonight - go to 21:30 :
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/b02yks83

To those coming here for the first time. Welcome. It's very good to have you here.

I should point out that this isn't a website just (or even mainly) about Surinder Singh, all we can do is share information about free movement :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/surinder%20singh

(Note - it's not a loophole. It's exercising treaty rights, guaranteed to British citizens. Don't let anyone frame it as anything else. Freedom is not a loophole).


We primarily also campaign against unjust rules which divide families - effectively bans masquerading as rules :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/introduction

And we share stories, provide a voice for the voiceless - the human beings behind the statistics :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/stories

http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/the-appg-report-is-out-httpwww.html

It'd be lovely to have you campaigning alongside us. Join a demonstration and parliamentary lobby on 9th July! :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/divided-families-day-of-action.html

http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/these-divided-families-need-you-to-be.html



And join our good friends :
http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk
http://www.jcwi.org.uk
http://familyimmigrationalliance.wordpress.com

Again - welcome.


Hackney Migrant Centre

Late home, speaking on impact of the rules at http://www.hackneymigrantcentre.org.uk/ with esteemed colleagues from http://www.kanlungan.org.uk/ and http://www.migrantsrights.org.uk/ . Think you'd to well to check them out!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

These divided families need YOU - to be in Westminster on 9th July :







On to the streets, come to Westminster.

http://www.jcwi.org.uk/blog/2013/06/24/streets-come-westminster

Marking the first anniversary of the ferocious family immigration restrictions, we’re keeping up the pressure on decision makers. There’s been a good amount of publicity about the restrictions over recent weeks, thanks largely to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration’s report into the rules, the subsequent debates and a number of media exposes on different aspects of the rules and what people can do to unite their families in the UK. This is an excellent opportunity to keep up the pressure.

We have provided extensive coverage to the campaign over the past year and are organising a day of protest and pressure at Westminster, similar to what happened last year, but we hope significantly larger.

Schedule for the day:
Tuesday 9 July 2013

4pm Protest at The Home Office, Marsham Street SW1P 4DF
5pm Lobby your MP at the House of Commons
6pm Parliamentary public meeting, Committee Room 10, House of Commons (ends at 7.30pm)


We are working at organising the speakers for both the protest at 4pm and the Parliamentary meeting at 6pm. One thing is for sure, we want to ensure that people affected by the rules are heard, so if you have a story to tell, please come along and have your voice heard.

The events are being co-organised by JCWI, BritCits, MRN and the Family Immigration Alliance: The Divided Families Campaign.
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DON'T FORGET TO LOBBY YOUR MP.  

A sample letter with how to find and contact your MP is here :


http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/divided-families-day-of-action.html
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https://twitter.com/migrants_rights :
Share this wide and don't forget to register if you're planning to come http://dividedfamilies2013.eventbrite.co.uk/  pic.twitter.com/3FajqHKIft

The Britons leaving the UK to get their relatives in

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23029195

British citizens are bypassing immigration regulations to get their relatives into the UK, using a technicality that means that if they work in another European country for three months, they can be considered under EU rather than British law on their return. Is this cheating the system or just getting past unfair rules?

Sarah Pitard is a screenwriter from Chicago who had been living in the UK for four years on student visas when she married actor Chris Hall from Swindon, in December 2012.

When the couple applied for their marriage visa the UK Border Agency returned their form saying they had not enclosed payment details. The couple maintain that these details had been included, but by that time it was too late for them to re-apply as Sarah's existing visa was about to expire.

"Our visa was refused and when I calculated how many days I was allowed to stay in the UK it turned out we had 48 hours to leave the country, otherwise I would have been banned for 10 years.

"I called Chris who had just left for a big theatre tour, and I said 'You gotta come back - meet me at St. Pancras'," Pitard recalls. "And we just shot out on the Eurostar and landed in Paris. I had never even been to France."

The full programme : http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b02yj2pp
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More on the Surinder Singh route :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/surinder%20singh

A Surinder Singh primer :
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/free-movement-to-ireland-this-is-one.html

Journey to Dublin :
http://www.scribd.com/doc/133697288/Journey-to-Dublin
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https://twitter.com/stephleroux :
The heavy price a few have to pay for a misguided #UK #immigration policy

Sarwat

“As a doctor, I spend my life looking after other people’s parents and grandparents..yet I’m being told I can’t look after my own mother.”

Dr Sarwat is a British citizen and a doctor working on a geriatrics ward in an NHS hospital. She looks after old people…providing her patients with the best care possible at a time when they need support the most. As she helps other people’s elderly parents and grandparents, the one person she is unable to help is her own mother.

The one person she regrets not being able to look after, hold the hand of, have a cup of tea with, support and see on a daily basis, is her own mother living alone in Pakistan.

Here is someone who spends her life looking after our aged, and we are denying her the right to look after the one person who gave her life.

Dr Sarwat is intelligent. She understands the rules now make it impossible for her to have her mother live with her…to have her mother live with her in the UK.

She is intelligent. She understands the rules are forcing her to choose between her home country, albeit adopted, and her parent.

She will in all likelihood make the right choice. But at what cost to our country, our people, our patients and our beloved NHS?

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BMA : Family migration rules lack basic 'common sense'.

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The latest version of the BritCits pack, with even more stories, is now online here :
http://www.scribd.com/doc/149987423/BritCits-June-2013
India warns over UK plan to make visitors pay £3,000 bond.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23044324

Indian business leaders have criticised plans to make visitors pay a £3,000 "security bond" to enter the UK.

The idea, to be piloted from November, is aimed at deterring people from "high risk" countries staying in the UK once their short-term visas expire.

Nick Clegg forces rethink on visa bond plan :
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/25/nick-clegg-visa-bond-theresa-may
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Family visit appeals abolished and bonds introduced.

http://www.freemovement.org.uk/2013/06/25/family-visit-appeals-and-bonds

As of today the full right of appeal against refusal of a visit visa sponsored by a family member in the UK has been abolished. Combined with the recently announced pilot of £3,000 ‘bonds’ payable for visitors to the UK, it is clear the Government is making it increasingly difficult for visitors from certain countries, principally in south east Asia and Africa, to visit relatives here in the UK.

The Government’s view of family visit appeals is that they are needless and that a simple re-application with the right documents will be sufficient where there is a genuine case. Anyone who thinks this clearly has not spent a lot of time reading Entry Clearance Officer family visit refusals from posts such as Accra, Islamabad, Manila, Delhi or Lagos. ECOs regularly refuse visas for the most absurd reasons and once a person has been refused once it is a matter of routine to refuse future applications.

The full right of appeal against decisions made from today onwards may have been scrapped, but an appeal can still be pursued on human rights or race discrimination grounds. Given that the Home Office has long argued that family visits are a perfectly good family life alternative to residence in the same country, it may be hard for officials to argue now that family life is not engaged where a child wishes to visit a parent or a parent a child, whether the child is adult or not.
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Dozens attend launch of Waltham Forest Migrant Action Group.

http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news/10504034.Dozens_attend_launch_of_Waltham_Forest_Migrant_Action_Group/

“New rules require that people wishing to bring a spouse, partner or child to the UK from outside the EU must earn at least £18,600 per year. That’s higher than the income of almost half the UK working population.”
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Hollie McNish has become an internet sensation with her brilliant poem Mathematics which debunks the arguments over immigration and economics - forcefully, beautifully and brutally.

http://www.jcwi.org.uk/blog/2013/06/24/british-national-breakfast
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Young Conservatives planning something horrible.

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/international/young-conservatives-planning-something-horrible-2013062573449

Monday, 24 June 2013

Divided Families Day of Action - *** IMPORTANT ***

http://j.mp/11AJZCD

One year anniversary of the new Family Migration rules

On the one year anniversary of the new family migration rules, let's show the Government what we think of measures which separate couples, keep children from their parents and break apart families! 


    4pm - Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF
    Afternoon demonstration outside the Home Office with speakers and street performers - bring a banner!!
    
    6pm - Parliament, Committee room 10, London SW1A 0AA
    Evening meeting in Parliament chaired by Baroness Ruth Lister bringing together campaigners, supporters and parliamentarians to hear about the impacts of the new rules. The meeting will welcome valuable supporters including Maggie Atkinson, the Children's Commissioner for England, and will be a chance for families to share their stories and build the campaign for a change in the rules.

BE THERE!!! A flyer you can use is here :



An Eventbrite event has been set up - please do sign up :
http://dividedfamilies2013.eventbrite.co.uk/

And lobby your MP to be there as well! (If you do not know your MP, contact details and email address can be found here : http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/ )

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A sample letter for your MP is below - please do modify according to your circumstances :

Dear ,

As your constituent, I am writing on behalf of the ‘Divided Families Campaign’, a UK-wide campaign for highlighting the impact of the new rules on family migration. I would like to invite you to a meeting in Committee Room 10 of the House of Commons on Tuesday 9th July from 18:00 to 19:30.

I have been separated from my spouse as a result of the income threshold introduced in the new rules, which aims to make it more difficult to sponsor spouses and partners, or elderly dependents, to come to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). I believe these changes are unfair and I would like for you to attend this meeting to hear how it has impacted me and other like me from around the UK.

The meeting will be chaired by Baroness Ruth Lister. It will bring together campaigners, supporters and parliamentarians to hear about the impacts of the new rules. The meeting will welcome valuable public servants including Maggie Atkinson, the Children's Commissioner for England, and will be a chance for families to share their stories.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration recently launched a report into the impact of the rules, a copy of which I am pleased to attach. I would be very grateful on your thoughts on the findings of this report.

If you cannot come to the meeting, I would also ask that you write to the Home Secretary, and to the Immigration Minister, Mark Harper MP, asking for an explanation of why policy has not changed as a result of the APPG on Migration’s report published on 10 June this year. 

Thank you very much for your time and I earnestly await your reply.

Yours sincerely,


Mahi

“We just want to look after our mother and have the means to do so..yet we’re being told we can’t...”

Mahi is a permanent resident in the UK. This means she has earned the right to live here for the rest of her life, without any conditions attached. Mahi’s sister is a British citizen, also living in the UK. They are both married and well settled here.

Mahi earns a decent salary, certainly enough to look after her family without recourse to public funds. Their mum is aged 54 and a widow. Two of her daughters – Mahi and her sister – live in the UK with their husbands and children. Her third daughter lives in the USA. Mahi’s mum is completely alone.

Yes she is relatively young and no, she doesn’t need help being fed, bathed and dressed. She is haunted by a loneliness. As she has always been a housewife, her life revolved around looking after her husband, her children and her home. Her children and grandchildren – her family – are all overseas. Her husband is no longer alive. She is completely alone.

She is lucky though. Mahi has been supporting her financially. Mahi and her sister have had their mum visit them on three occasions now. Mahi’s mum liked being surrounded by her kids, grandkids..it made her feel younger, more alive, less lonely certainly and less depressed.

Mahi and her sister want their mum to live with them permanently. They have the means to ensure she can live here without ever having to fall back on public funds.

Yet they are being denied this and understandably bemused. They are not wanting to take their mother away from her home country, to dump her in an old people’s home..they want to look after her themselves, to ensure that they can return the favours that this mother bestowed on them…the favours that have allowed Mahi and her sister to make a better life for themselves, in the UK, providing services that we all benefit from.

Southampton MPs urged to help scrap immigration rule splitting low-paid dads from families.

http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/10503631.Immigration_rules_bar_low_paid_dads_from_families/

 'IT is one of the proudest and emotionally overwhelming moments of any man’s life – the pleasure of welcoming a firstborn child into the world.

'But Inodeel Naizai faces the agonising prospect of being unable to see his new son or daughter for at least two years due, he claims, to strict immigration laws.

'The Afghan national, who lives in Derby Road, Southampton, is making an impassioned plea for politicians to help reunite his family by scrapping controversial immigration regulations restricting non-EU foreign nationals working in this country from inviting their spouses and partners to join them.

 'The 28-year-old said: “Please help us so we can be a family – she is crying every day and I am crying every day here.

'“Surely British people can understand what it’s like.”

'Mr Naizai arrived in Britain as a teenager in 2002 and works as a shop assistant at a convenience store.

'In December last year he returned to his native city Bagram for an arranged marriage to bride Mariam.

 'Soon after he flew back to England last month his 25-year-old partner rang to tell him she is pregnant.

'But under rules introduced last summer, he must earn at least £18,600 a year – plus a further £3,800 to support the child.

'Mr Naizai, who spends at least £50 a week on international telephone calls to his wife, is on a much lower salary and would have to save for at least two years before flying back home.

'He said she is suffering from depression and added: “The rules are too hard. I couldn’t earn that amount of money even if I was working three jobs.

'“The birth of a child is such an important thing – the husband should be there for the wife.'
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https://twitter.com/donflynnmrn :
Visitor’s bonds "a disaster for families with Indian sub-continent and West Africa says MRN" http://j.mp/12ZuHc9

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https://twitter.com/APPGMigration :
BBC News - Foreign students 'feeling less welcome in UK' http://bbc.in/12c6v4z
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Jewish group offers protection to North London mosques.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/24/jewish-patrol-group-offer_n_3490383.html

Previously - Bradford Muslims protect synagogue :
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/03/19/bradford-synagogue-muslims_n_2908254.html 
From the comments

'Hi Guys. I feel for you so much.

'My wife is Filipino. We live in the UK and she recently managed to get FLR for the first time, but we still have this threat over us for the next 5 years.

'At the moment I earn enough money, so we are fortunate, but who knows where we will be in 5 years time.

'I just don't see how this law they implemented can be legal, to keep families apart in this way.

'Best of luck to you both. '

In response to Clyde and XuDan's story : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/clyde-and-xudan-our-family-is.html

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Jenny

“I just want to be able to look after my parents without recourse to public funds in the same way they’ve looked after me and my child”

Jenny from Kingston & Surbiton is a British citizen with South African parents. She works for a very reputable regulator with a secure, stable job.

She has also been supporting her parents for several years, which she doesn’t have an issue with. After all, she’s in a position to do so only because they made sacrifices for her to be where she is.

Jenny also now has a child, a British child. As she cannot afford to pay £1000 in childcare every month, on top of her living expenses - rent, bills, while also sending money to her parents, her parents have been visiting her regularly to help with the childcare.

This may sound fine and dandy, but it's when you delve further you realise that parental sacrifices don't end even in old age.

Jenny's parents take it in turns to visit the UK for 6 months at a time so they can help her with childcare all year round, and so that she can afford to pay their living expenses back in their home country. Jenny could, and will, never turn her back on her parents and stop supporting them as they are, due to unfortunate circumstances, unable to support themselves.

So her parents are forced to take it in turns to visit their daughter and grandchild because they can only stay here for 6 months in a year.

This raises several issues:
1) The parent who is in South Africa is alone, lonely and miserable for half of their life
2) The parent who is leaving the UK after 6 months has to regularly go through the heart-wrenching process of saying goodbye to their own family, knowing they're going back to an empty existence.
3) Jenny's parents barely see their own spouse because of their own financial obligations deeming dependency on their daughter necessary.
4) UKBA could at any point cease allowing the parent in even for 6 months. At any point. It has happened to other parents, with UKBA denying them entry and saying they need to apply for a settlement visa if they wish to visit their family in the UK regularly. Whether UKBA staff are or are not aware of the rules which make it impossible for any parent of an adult British citizen to qualify for the right to be here, is anyone's guess.

Like others in this position, Jenny has considered applying for a settlement visa. She knows it will be rejected, but maybe then she could appeal, or take it to court where rules which make it impossible for anyone to qualify while charging £2000 a pop per application, will be overturned by our judicial system.

While this takes time and money, her biggest concern is that by applying for a settlement visa she runs the risk of her parents never ever being allowed back in the UK, because their having expressed the desire to settle here will be interpreted by UKBA as an intention to live here, with a possible slapping of a 10 year ban on even re-applying.

It is grossly unfair that Jenny is not able to allow her parents to make their home with her in the UK, without recourse to public funds.
Debating family immigration rules on the Islam Channel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?hl=en&client=mv-google&gl=GB&v=vU3Ajy9hXZY

With Awale Olad of https://twitter.com/APPGMigration , Alexis McGhee (a campaigner against the rules who is herself affected) and a Conservative supporter of the rules.

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The protester jailed for disrupting the 2012 Oxford-Cambridge boat race has been ordered to leave the UK.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/06/23/trenton-oldfield_n_3487085.html?1372008346

Trenton Oldfield, 37, has been told by the Home Office his presence in the country would not be "conducive to the public good", reports the Guardian.

Oldfield, who is Australian, has lived in the UK for ten years and his British wife is expecting their child this week.

Scary times.

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The revolt of the global middle class.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/06/the-revolt-of-the-global-middle-class/277125/

'The lower strata of the middle class — the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants — all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialised skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production. Thus the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population. ' - http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1848/communist-manifesto/ch01.htm
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Police 'spied on' Stephen Lawrence family.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23022634

A former undercover police officer has claimed he was ordered to infiltrate the Stephen Lawrence campaign in 1993, the Guardian has reported.

Peter Francis told the newspaper and Channel 4's Dispatches programme he posed as an anti-racism campaigner in a hunt for "disinformation" to use against those criticising the police.


Teather, Rogerson, Beith and Huppert speak against new family migration rules

http://www.libdemvoice.org/teather-rogerson-beith-and-huppert-speak-against-new-family-migration-rules-35026.html

Last week I wrote about a new report, contributed to by Liberal Democrats Sarah Teather and Sally Hamwee, which outlined the heartbreak and suffering the new family migration rules are causing. The income threshold of £18,600 with extra for each child, and the narrow methods by which this is calculated is stopping many people from being able to live with their spouses in this country.

Earlier this week, four Liberal Democrat MPs took part in a Westminster Hall debate to try to persuade Home Office minister Mark Hunter of the inequity of these plans. Here are some extracts from their speeches...


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Response from me (in the comments) :

Median income (i.e. income for the average person, as opposed to 'mean' income - the average calculated by adding everyone's income together and divided by the population) is pretty close to the £18,600 mark. As Migration Observatory have shown, around 47% of the UK's working population now cannot bring in a non-EEA spouse ( see: http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/press-releases/women-young-people-and-non-londoners-are-most-affected-changes-family-migration-polic ). That's in addition to the discrimination against women, the regions and certain ethnic groups implicit in the rules.

It's not far from a rule which says - poor people can't marry. Or, poor people must emigrate (the argument 'why don't you leave then' is sometimes trotted out - somewhat reminiscent of transportation in the 19th century).

That's quite apart from the evidential requirements. Navigating the bureaucracy and hostility of the British immigration system, with all the costs entailed (legal, language tests, applications etc) is difficult enough. If you look at the access to Legal Aid being removed, the proportion of people unable to be with their spouses - in the country of their birth - is far higher than 47%.

The rules have nothing to do with balancing the books (in fact, serious research tends to point to the economic benefits of migration). It is about reducing numbers - Cameron promised to reduce net immigration below 100k, without thinking about how he would control net emigration, and there is a general scramble to attack the innocent to meet this - families, students, and so on. With all the social and economic and international damage caused to the UK.

It is also - apart from an attack on immigration - an attack on the nature of citizenship itself. British -citizens- - many with family roots in the UK going back centuries - now cannot bring in their partner from anywhere outside the EEA - including countries such as the US, Canada, Australia, and so on. I would almost go so far as to say that the attack on -citizens- that it represents is unprecedented, and deeply personal.

True liberals need to be aware of what is being done in their name.

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(One more point - non-EEA spouses have the words 'No recourse to public funds' stamped into their passports or visas. So, no benefits for them - the rules have -no- effect on the benefit bill. On the other hand they all pay tax - through VAT if nothing else).

Update to Kirsty's story via Facebook

My hubby got his visa!!!!!

Thank you so much everyone, I am so excited to begin our life as a normal married couple, just in time for our 1st wedding anniversary



Ethan

“My parents are living in the most appalling conditions, when I could easily provide them with a better life, living with me....”

Ethan is a British citizen living in the constituency of Redbridge. He has lived in the UK for over 10 years, never having claimed any benefits. His brother incidentally is also a British citizen. He does however have two loving, if elderly and frail parents in Guyana. His only other sibling is a sister who lives in the USA but does not have the means to support their parents.

His parents are wholly, including financially, dependent on their two sons – sons they worked hard all their life in the hope of their having a better life than their own. Unfortunately, his parents also suffer from ill-health. Ethan’s dad is diabetic, and his mum has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and high cholesterol. She recently suffered a stroke, luckily a mild one.

Ethan is saddened that due to work and financial commitments, neither he, nor his brother can spend long periods away from the UK. And so he is being deprived from spending valuable time with his parents, who he is otherwise able to fully support in the UK from his own income..he does not need to claim benefits for himself, nor will he need to with them here.

His parents are not alone in Guyana. They are living with Ethan’s aunt in a one-bedroom property. While his aunt is nice, she isn’t able to provide the care for his parents the way he could, would and should. Third party care in Guyana is extremely expensive and anything affordable would deem that without immediate family that is able to keep an eye on things, they won't be treated well. (Often enough we hear of our elderly in homes being mistreated..imagine that a long flight away!)

How can you justify to your parents, let alone yourself, why when you are able to look after them in the UK, have them living with you while they still have time, you fob the responsibility for their wellbeing to someone else. It’s not just about sending money overseas. It’s about being able to sit and talk about your day. Have a laugh together. Hold their hand. Smaller things make the bigger differences.
Ann and Craig

http://migrantsrightsscotland.org.uk/?p=3822

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.

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"A civilised country should not be separating people who married in good faith and have their future ahead of them": Joan Ruddock MP
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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.
Be there!
http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/whats-coming-up-26th-june-public.html



The assembled throng :
https://twitter.com/GuidoTallman/status/348415588785344512/photo/1



https://twitter.com/GuidoTallman :
#pplsassembly think we had 4 top table speakers and 18 contributions from the floor in immigration / racism session at #pplsassembly :)

https://twitter.com/trillingual :
Good #pplsassembly speech by @GuidoTallman calling on left to be less timid confronting racism in immigration system. Shame not more of this
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https://twitter.com/UK_HumanRights :
Lord Brown: We do not, indeed must not, outlaw unpopular minorities—prisoners, asylumseekers, immigrants—we must not outlaw even the wicked.

https://twitter.com/sjplep :
Quote from #pplsassembly session on immigration yesterday : 'Lynton Crosby is a migrant worker. Rupert Murdoch is a migrant worker!'
#wicked

https://twitter.com/GuidoTallman :
although true for Crosby, not sure how Murdoch can be labelled 'worker' in any sense!

https://twitter.com/MigrantVoiceUK :
so is the head of the Royal Mail and the Bank of England - Canadians!

https://twitter.com/sjplep :
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
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Would an independent Scotland have a different immigration policy?

http://migrantsrightsscotland.org.uk/?p=2205

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?
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https://twitter.com/MigRightsScot :
Trafficked into the UK are victims, not criminals
http://www.channel4.com/news/child-trafficking-victim-crime-judge-cannabis-prostitution
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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

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/22/asylum-seekers-nowhere-boys?CMP=twt_gu
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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.

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/National/article1277753.ece

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://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Europe/UK-plans-visa-bonds-for-high-risk-Asians-Africans/Article1-1080934.aspx
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