"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 12 February 2013

Dell and Valery

“The government is separating me from my wife and stepchildren, just because I don’t earn more than £24,800

British citizen Dell is aged 50. Dell’s biggest regret until he married Valery was that he was unable to have children. When his only niece died, he felt choked by emotion and unspent fatherhood.

Dell and Valery met at the beginning of 2012. And they fell in love. With Valery, Dell finally got to be the father he had so longed for, and finally got to hear the word ‘Daddy’. Both Dell and Valery are joyful that Valery's children have accepted Dell so readily, further strengthening their own bond.

Valery is from Russia and has two children, aged fifteen and three. The biological father of her children died when her youngest was just one. The hurt was multiplied as Valery, an orphan herself, was seeing her own children in the same state.

Valery is a lawyer and does not have any financial concerns. But after a change in immigration law, this family is at a loss.

Dell owns his own home. He also has some savings and works as a manager of a large department store. His income is less than £24,800, but above average when compared to the earnings of other similar roles in Bristol, where he lives. They therefore are surprised at the statement made by their MP that the average salary in Bristol is £33,000, showing how out of touch he is.

(Editor's note: According to this article mapping median average salaries across the UK in 2011, the median pay in Bristol East is £19081; even in the wealthiest part of Bristol - Bristol West - it's only £24613. Dell therefore earns a middling to good salary for Bristol. The mean average is something different and outliers - a few people earning very high incomes - would skew the mean upwards, and not reflect how most people - the median - actually live. This is practically the oldest trick in the book of 'How to lie with statistics', which it seems the MP in question has read. http://www.ehow.com/info_8092419_difference-median-income-vs-average.html ).

Dell’s sister is extremely glad that her brother has finally found happiness. She owns real estate and is willing to help Dell in forming his own family.

But all this is not sufficient for the Home Office to allow this family to live together. The new rules ban third party sponsorship of this nature.

The treatment of the UK government violates the most basic Christian ethics - as Theresa May is so fond of stating, we are after all a Christian country, so why not apply Christian principles and afford compassion to children and respect the state of marriage.

Indeed, the rules in place breach the Universal Declaration of Human Rights : No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation.

Perhaps politicians in the UK need a reminder:

Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

• Men and women of full age, without limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and found a family. They are entitled to equal rights to marriage, during marriage and at its
• Family is the natural and fundamental unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and

Article 10 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

- “..applications by a child or his or her parents to enter or leave a State Party for the purpose of
family reunification shall be dealt with by States Parties in a positive, humane and expeditious
manner. States Parties shall further ensure that the submission of such a request shall entail no
adverse consequences for the applicants and for the members of their family."

Dell and Valery can’t help but wonder why the income and assets of the foreign spouse are not taken into account?

Why not allow for the fact that the foreign spouse will be working, paying taxes and participating in providing for the family?

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