"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 3 February 2013


“I am being pushed out of my own country by this government because I dared to fall in love, have a baby with and marry a woman who is Japanese ”.

A British citizen, Aaron met his Japanese partner, Kano, in Bristol when she was there on a two-year working holiday visa.

They fell in love, she fell pregnant and they decided to get married. Aaron has invested all his time and energy in Bristol and is keen to make a life with his wife and child there. Bristol is where all his friends and family live. He wants a stable place to mark the height of his child as the years pass; he doesn’t want to live in Britain simply in order to claim any sort of welfare benefits.

However, under the new rules, he is unable to give his child the upbringing he so desires in his own country, something which we all as British citizens have and should continue to have the right to.

Aaron’s child is also British. Therefore, in fact, two British citizens have had their basic rights eroded by this government :
• The right to live with your partner without interference from the State for Aaron;
• The right to have both your parents looking after you, for their child.

Aaron earns just under the £18,600 mark. Combining his income with that which Kano could earn, they easily satisfy £18,600. But Kano’s income cannot be included, thus highlighting a huge oversight in the rules.

Not only is £18,600 too high, it does not allow for geographical differences and is much higher than the income criteria required to be excluded from qualifying for welfare benefits. It also shows a complete disregard for the potential value of the spouse’s income.

In practice, both Aaron and Kano would work, each earning a salary that would be taxed and relied upon for their living expenses. Why then is the criterion restricted only to Aaron’s income?

Aaron is being pushed out of his own country, by his own government, for no reason other than that its mission is to achieve a poorly selected and arbitrary net immigration target in the 'tens of thousands'.

Aaron's story, in his own words. I want to have some kind of safe place to put the child in, and I know which place, it’s the place I live In and met Kano in and where I've been investing my time and energy. Its’ where all my friends live, all the people who I want to learn how to be a good parent from. It’s the house my family lived in, where the overgrown garden is takes up the whole world from the front window...

Aaron mention in House of Lords debate 'Motion to Regret' the new immigration rules. Scroll down to Lord Avebury: My Lords, this is a very important debate, focusing as it does on family and children's rights. We have all heard from organisations such as the ones that have been mentioned...


As mentioned in the introduction to this blog, one of many issues we have with the rules was the way they were introduced - via the 'back door', first through 'secondary legislation', and then, when the courts ruled that the Home Secretary had overstepped her powers (Alvi), through an 'emergency debate' in the House of Lords (as the Commons was in recess on that day) where many Lords were apparently unaware of the full implications of what they were debating. The Free Movement blog wrote at the time : Following the Supreme Court decisions in the cases of Munir and Alvi, as reported on this blog yesterday, the UK Border Agency has acted suspiciouslyextremely quickly...

 The Motion of Regret in which Aaron was mentioned (along with Rob) was the first time a proper debate on this issue had been held by our legislators. We are grateful to Baroness Smith, Lord Avebury, Lord Teverson, and others for their sterling contributions.

The Motion of Regret debate can be viewed in full here, and read in Hansard here.

In some ways this debate laid the groundwork for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration's inquiry into the effects of the immigration rules on families. We are awaiting further developments with alacrity.

As previously mentioned, we have received communications from certain public figures on these matters, and these will be added to this site in due course.

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