"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.

Thursday 9 May 2013

Finally, the Catholic Church shows some backbone (and more on the Queen's Speech).


The Archbishop of Westminster has accused the Government of harming families with its strict immigrant rules, during a Mass where others voiced criticism of UK policies on asylum seekers and the deportation of refugees.

In his homily at Westminster Cathedral on Monday, Archbishop Nichols warned that current immigration laws hurt families hoping to be reunited in the United Kingdom. Rules that came into effect last year mean that people must earn £18,600 or more per year to bring a non-EU spouse into the country and £22,400 for one child.

"Economic and time-period thresholds [...] are putting great strain on the vital unit of the family and could be seen as actually putting a price tag on the value of family unity," he said. He continued: "Surely it is for the common good that immigration policies must be more sensitively shaped in such matters."

The bidding prayers prayed "for people who do not welcome foreigners." The prayers also asked for policies that do not deny asylum seekers dignity and urged the UK Government to fulfil its obligation under the United Nations to respond in a humane and compassionate way to refugees.

 The Good Samaritan.

Woman, 81, left to starve after immigration raid on care company.


Gloria Foster, 81, a frail widow with dementia, was entirely dependent on four daily visits from carers, who fed her, helped her get out of bed and gave her medicine. But for nine days in January she was left to starve after an immigration raid on the private care company contracted to look after her.

Somehow in the days following the raid and closure of the agency Carefirst24, the local authority forgot about her. She was discovered on a chance visit by a district nurse and taken to hospital, where she died in early February.

As we now know, UK immigration policy is extreme enough to victimise British citizens - even those whose families have been here for many centuries - too :


https://twitter.com/JCWInews tweets :
Landlords failing to check for gas leaks - how on earth can they be trusted to check immigration status of tenants?

GPs must not be the new border agency in policing access to the NHS: RCGP reaction to Queen's speech.


The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has today warned against the danger of turning GPs into a form of immigration control -  and cautioned the Government against plugging the social care funding gap by raiding the NHS budget, in its reaction to the Queen's speech.

RCGP Chair Dr Clare Gerada said:

"GPs must not be a new 'border agency' in policing access to the NHS. Whilst the health system must not be abused and we must bring an end to health tourism,  it is important that we do not overestimate the problem and that GPs are not placed in the invidious position of being the new border agency.

"General Practice must remain the main access to health care within the NHS. GPs have a duty of care to all people seeking healthcare, and should not be expected to police access to healthcare and turn people away when they are at their most vulnerable. It is important to protect individuals and public health."

https://twitter.com/JCWInews tweets :
JCWI welcomes the statement by the Royal College of General Practitioners. Doctors not Border Guards!



Britain should welcome, not oppose, immigration. Must-read by Oliver Kamm of the Times.


The Conservative Party has an important and historically sometimes dominant strand within it that is internationalist (including pro-Europeanism), pragmatic and in, the broadest sense, liberal. It’s dismaying that, on the evidence of the Queen’s Speech, that current appears to be in abeyance.

I’m not so worried about the absence from the Speech of legislation for same-sex marriage. I’ve supported that cause for around 20 years (not longer, I’m sorry to say, as I had previously failed to grasp how central the issue was to civil rights and citizenship), and am proud to have helped construct The Times’s recent arguments on it. There are no good arguments for delay and strong conservative reasons for pressing ahead. But I’m confident that this will happen; and when it does, the reform will not only be irreversible but accepted very quickly as a natural and just state of affairs.

It’s disturbing, however, that the Queen’s Speech dwelt to such an extent on proposals to deter people from coming to the UK. Immigration has economic and social benefits. Immigrants fill gaps in the labour market and, generally being of working age, contribute more to the Exchequer in taxes than they take out in benefits (including education spending). There is some evidence that immigration affects the wages of unskilled workers but that effect is small and there are better remedies than curbing rights of entry.

It is a dangerous myth that Britain (even under the previous Labour Government, whose record on this issue is creditable) has open borders. Immigration restrictions on people from outside the EU are too onerous. Increased checks, higher age limits for foreign marriage partners and a more bureaucratic visa and work permits scheme do little more than cause inconvenience and in some cases misery.

Even setting aside the rights of the migrant (and we at BritCits see those as very important) - onerous immigration rules cause misery for Brits too - their families, and their children :

Another Home Office policy concerning children found to be unlawful.


https://twitter.com/gregnotinchina tweets :
UK Landlords obliged to check immigration status - that is worse than China. Unbelievable.

https://twitter.com/jdportes tweets :
Queen's Speech should have been about growth & recovery. Instead it was anti-immigration. @johnvanreenen sums it up:

John Van Reenen laments the government’s legislative plan detailed today as a missed opportunity. The focus on immigration is absurd given what the evidence shows and the speech should have been used to address our major problems, such as the failure to make long-run investments in skills, infrastructure and innovation.

https://twitter.com/patelsmie tweets :
Listen up #UK: #US President on #immigration- it makes us #stronger #vibrant #prosperous #dynamic


https://twitter.com/patelsmie tweets :
What’s to stop landlords passing cost of #immigration checks onto already squeezed tenants?

https://twitter.com/DrMarkElliott tweets :
Excellent, accessible piece by @AdamWagner1 in @NewStatesman on human rights implications of proposed Immig'n Bill

https://twitter.com/MigrantVoiceUK tweets :
Controlling immigration: the snake oil of our time


https://twitter.com/nandosigona tweets :
2.7 million old & new #EU citizens living & working in #UK need to find a political voice to speak out against #criminalisation

https://twitter.com/nandosigona tweets :
UK #immigration control: children in extreme distress | openDemocracy:

A new study by UK charity Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) has revealed that alarming numbers of parents are being separated from their children for the purposes of immigration control. Children suffered extreme distress, and in the majority of cases parents were eventually released from immigration detention, their detention having served no purpose at all. This raises serious questions about why they were detained in the first place.

https://twitter.com/nandosigona tweets :
Would like to hear https://twitter.com/MalmstromEU 's view on increasing #criminalisation of intra-EU mobility & 2.7 million #EUcitizens by the UK government

Some @britcits correspondence with @MalmstromEU in which she confirms our rights to  #freemovement : http://www.scribd.com/doc/125908678/Comms-Malmstrom

 '...The situation is different if a British citizen, for example, first exercises his/her right of free movement under the free movement directive and moves to another EU Member State, and subsequently returns to his/her home state. In this case the British citizen has exercised his/her EU rights and does not return to a purely internal situation. Therefore he/she can invoke his/her a right under the free movement directive to be joined or accompanied by their family members, such as their spouses, notwithstanding the nationality of these family members...'


Queen’s Speech immigration measures: objectionable and unworkable.


Cartoonist Steve Bell on the Queen's Speech.


https://twitter.com/heindehaas tweets :
Governments should stop talking about 'combating' illegal migration - this belligerent language is inappropriate

https://twitter.com/polish_linguist tweets :
Topical. Perhaps the UK Gov might want a history lesson: A Day Without Immigrants: Making a Statement

They may not have agreed on whether to skip school, take the day off work or refrain from all commerce today, but the hundreds of thousands of peaceful protestors who turned out in major cities across the country on Monday clearly conveyed their message that immigrants are essential to the U.S. economy and deserve the right to continue living and working here. With rallies in more than 50 cities from Las Vegas to Miami, the day of protest brought together immigrants from all walks of life and appeared to overcome early concerns that rifts within the Latino community would hamper their success.

Queen's Speech signals a new Immigration Bill is on its way.


...But by early afternoon, once again, it all appeared to have been somewhat overstated. The Queen's Speech itself was restricted to breaking the news that we can now expect a new Immigration Bill over the coming year (probably in the autumn) that will 'further reform Britain's immigration system' - with no specific reference to EU migration, welfare benefits or social housing. A Home Office briefing reports that the three main goals of the Bill will be: 'stopping immigrants accessing services they are not entitled to; making it easier to remove people from the UK and harder for people to prolong their stay with spurious appeals; and specifying that foreign nationals who commit serious crimes shall, except in extraordinary circumstances, be deported'.

Ending rights, supporting rights - What’s best for the future of immigration policy?

The coalition government wants less rights and less migration. Employers hint at less rights but want more migration. And others, including the European Commission, say rights are just what is needed to encourage people to migrate in security. Confused? You need not be....


https://twitter.com/davidpilling tweets :
How Japan got its mojo back: China and the post-tsunami spirit have revived Japan - http://FT.com  http://on.ft.com/144binM


https://twitter.com/nandosigona tweets :
'A proper victim is one who looks like a journalist,' says @cmcilwain (NYU) on excellent BBC piece on #Cleveland case

Three young women disappeared in Cleveland. Media coverage of their cases illustrates stereotypes about race.

Charles Ramsey heard someone screaming in a nearby house. Luckily, he managed to help the woman, Amanda Berry, who was in distress.

Because of his efforts, she, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight escaped from the house in Cleveland where they were held captive for a decade or more.

"I knew something was wrong when a little, pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms," Ramsey said later.

"Something is wrong here. Dead giveaway."

As it turned out, Ramsey's assessment was a twist on what is known among media critics as the Missing White Woman Syndrome.


Is Cameron's Britain what we fought for in the war?

Via https://www.facebook.com/LondonMRCF

Harry Leslie Smith is a survivor of the Great Depression, a second world war RAF veteran and at 90 an activist for the poor and for the preservation of social democracy. It is almost out of use, but very appropriate word to describe this article - wisdom!

All MPs, all in one place :

Via  https://www.facebook.com/LondonMRCF -
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