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

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Those affected by the rules with children, who haven't written to the Children's Commissioner already - please write.

Here's how to do it :

Feedback from the Children's Commissioner's office is that they have been 'inundated' with emails and letters, which have left many officials in tears.

This came up at the 9th July demo debriefing meeting today (MRN, JCWI and BritCits).

You can still writine to them. Keep writing.

Natalie writes :

... This is causing a lot of stress and strain on our marriage. My daughter 25 weeks thinks my laptop and phone is where Daddy is. We will not be traveling to see him until August 31st for 2 weeks due to work...

The Children's Commissioner's office responds
'Dear family member affected by the family migration rules,

'Can I first apologise for not replying individually to your email. We are a very small organisation, and we have been rather overwhelmed by the number of emails recounting the effects of the new Family Migration Rules on your families since last week when the Children’s Commissioner addressed a public meeting in Committee room 10 of the House of Commons on this matter. (photos : http://www.flickr.com/photos/migrants-rights-network/page1/ )

I must make clear that the Children’s Commissioner has no remit, and therefore is not permitted, to advocate for or intervene in individual cases. Rather our role is to influence Government policy on behalf of children and to promote their interests and views. Please be assured, however, that we have read every piece of correspondence we have received on this matter with great care. We have also begun compiling the information you have all sent into a database which we will use to help us analyse trends, and to seek to influence government thinking and action on the issues identified in the letters you have all provided.

We will be engaging with the Government from a position of real strength now that we have heard directly from all of you about the very serious impact these rules are having on you, your partners, children, grandchildren or step-children.

In due course we will be letting you, and the organisations with which many of you are also working, know what we are doing to take the issue forward with Government. Many of your letters and emails to us included detailed, and deeply moving, accounts of the impact of separation on the children from a parent or about the affected child’s inability to access their rights as British citizen children. It was a privilege to read them, and we would like to thank you for your honesty and openness in sharing them with us. We will ensure that these personal accounts are fully reflected in our correspondence with Government Ministers or officials, but we will ensure, by the ways we present this and our own evidence, that individuals cannot be identified.

We will be in touch again once we have more to tell you. In the meantime, thank you again for getting in touch with the office

Yours Sincerely,

Divided Families campaign video.


Here are some of the highlights (if that is the right word) of the demonstration outside the Home Office last week, (Tuesday 9 July). It is a succession of stories from people affected by the Rules that were introduced a year beforehand. We'll let the people on the film do the talking for themselves:


Progress marked by Divided Families Day.


'A week ago the Divided Families Campaign made it’s strongest display of objection and unity against the family immigration rules.

'The day began with the presentation of a petition to 10 Downing Street – a sure sign that the campaign is beginning to reach a new level of importance.

'This is not least because it came on the back of an important High Court judgement dubbing the income threshold unfair, and recommending a level closer to £13000.  This a fantastic result so close to the anniversary of the rules. It represents a huge success for the contributions and evidence submitted by the FIA and other colleagues ( http://www.britcits.com  ) in the campaign.'

Via the JCWI link above :

'Due to the July 9th immigration changes in the UK, my family and I are living 3,000 miles apart, here's our story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFxCcrBcWmU. Thanks for sharing this powerful video, I think it is very effective in showing the personal stories of all that are suffering from this ridiculous requirement. The more we become real people the less we're a statistic!

'Please share and encourage others to do so, united we can win this fight and bring our families back together!

'Red tape' keeps teen lovers apart.


Two teenagers who fell in love and got engaged are being forced to live thousands of miles apart by the UK's tough new immigration red tape.

Alex Firth, 18, is in Barnsley while sweetheart Jamie Freeman, 19, is in Georgia, USA - but they can't get permission to live together despite asking Home Secretary Theresa May for help.


Mirrored copy of 'Divided families: Some more divided than others' :

Contains an important table with data on differences in median salaries across gender and ethnic groups, highlighting the discriminatory nature of the rules.

Original : http://www.ctbi.org.uk/pdf_view.php?id=862

More on discrimination :

https://twitter.com/APPGMigration :
Lab MP @KateGreenSU asks @ukhomeoffice about recent High Court finding on #familymigration & response from government

Kate Green (Stretford and Urmston, Labour)

What changes will the Home Office make to the family migration rules in the light of the recent High Court finding that the income threshold is onerous and unjustified?

Mark Harper (Forest of Dean, Conservative)

That is not quite what the judgment said. We are considering the judgment very carefully. The judge made it quite clear that the Home Office was perfectly entitled to have an income threshold that applied nationally. The judge said that in certain circumstances he had some concerns. Applications where that is the only issue on which the case would have been rejected are being held and we will make an announcement in due course.

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