Professor Eleonore Kofman and Dr Helena Wray are both part of the School of Law at Middlesex University. BritCits has worked closely with them to research and raise awareness of family migration rules which have divided families since 9th July 2012.
Below are details of a conference they are holding next week. Attendance is free, but places are limited, so please register asap if you are interested.
Tuesday 12th July 2016 - 10am– 4pm
Committee Room 2, Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, London NW4 4BT
Convenors: Professor Eleonore Kofman and Dr Helena Wray, School of Law, Middlesex University
Family life across national borders has become much more difficult for British residents and citizens. The admission of elderly or dependent relatives has been effectively halted. Spouses and partners must comply with an extensive range of inflexible conditions, including a minimum income threshold that cannot be met by more than 40% of the working population and which has had a serious impact on the lives of an estimated 15,000 children. Even getting married within the UK now involves a series of bureaucratic encounters with the immigration authorities. The advantages currently available under EU free movement law may not survive in their current form.
Immigration control in the UK in all its aspects has become subject to almost constant regulatory change, whether through changes to primary and secondary legislation or to rules. The current ‘hostile environment’ is unprecedented. It is not only that policy is driven by the aim of minimising admissions but that civil and commercial institutions, and even private individuals, are now compelled to implement internal controls. The government has also sought to remove or minimise opportunities for migrants and their representatives to modify the terms of policy, to rely on human rights norms or to challenge the correctness of decisions. The consequence is that migrants and their representatives must negotiate a restrictive, excessively complex, expensive and often unaccountable system, while equipped with a shrinking repertoire of resources and tools.
In this context, ensuring that the interests of migrants are represented in the formulation and implementation of policy is a challenge. This conference brings together lawyers, activists and academics, all of whom have been involved in attempts to resist or ameliorate the impact of the family migration changes. We shall focus primarily on the opportunities for intervening in family migration policy by a range of actors but it will also be of broader interest and relevance. It will reflect on successes and failures, on the tools that are available, such as research into the different groups affected (children, elderly, spouses), and the strategies they have deployed, as well as campaigning, legal and parliamentary interventions, how they may be most effectively used, and on the challenges that lie ahead.
The conference is free to attend but numbers are limited and an early reservation is advised. Please book your place at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/intervening-in-the-regulation-of-family-migration-tickets-25973974858
10.00 – 10.30: Registration and coffee
10.30 – 10.45: Introduction: Professor Eleonore Kofman and Dr Helena Wray
10.45 – 11.45: Policy Interventions
Alison Harvey (Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association): Working with legislators
Saira Grant (JCWI): Mobilising the media and public opinion
11.45 – 12.45: Grassroots mobilisation
Chai Patel (JCWI): UK NGOs and the family migration rules
Hélène Neveu-Kringelbach and Laura Odasso (Les Amoureux au Ban Public): Campaigning against French family migration rules
12.45 – 13.45: Lunch
13.45 – 15.15: Legal Interventions and Social Science Research
Professor Eleonore Kofman (Middlesex University): Using social science evidence in legal proceedings
Dr Helena Wray (Middlesex University): Academic research in human rights challenges
Professor Betty de Hart (University of Amsterdam/Radboud University, Nijmegen): Legal challenges to family migration in European law
15.15 – 16.00: Final Discussion and Tea