"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.

Wednesday 6 March 2013

APPG roundup

This is a summary, from my point of view, of the second public session of the All Party Parliamentary Group inquiry into the new family migration rules which took place earlier this week.

Relevant links :

Basically I thought it was a good session, with a good response from the politicians present. 

There were four main speakers: 
one Lib Dem MP (https://twitter.com/duncanhames - http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/duncan-hames/31676) on the effect on his constituents, which is considerable; 
Helena Wray of Middlesex University ( http://www.mdx.ac.uk/aboutus/staffdirectory/Helena_Wray.aspx - who works with Eleonore Kofman http://www.mdx.ac.uk/aboutus/staffdirectory/Eleonore_Kofman.aspx who spoke at the JCWI AGM in December - http://www.jcwi.org.uk/blog/2012/10/23/jcwi-public-seminar-agm ) - and very well summarised the impact of the rules on many people; 
Anita Hurrell of Coram Childrens Centre on the impact on children ( https://twitter.com/anita_hurrell - http://childrenslegalcentre.com/ - the role of the Childrens Commissioner and the Children's Act was mentioned in a q and a session); 
and a speaker from the BMA ( http://bma.org.uk/about-the-bma/who-we-are/biography-vivienne-nathanson ) - many of their international members are affected by the elderly dependant rule. Clearly the NHS greatly depends on overseas talent, and overseas talent has families.

Speakers from the floor were all firmly and eloquently against the rules; Emma ben Moussa ( https://twitter.com/emmabmoussa - http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/emma-and-driss-i-dont-know-how-anyone.html ) on the impact on her family. 

Later on, our own Sonel ( https://twitter.com/britcits ) gave a good summary, a member of the Salvation Army whose Georgian wife is affected; a speaker from the Latin American Women's Association; and Margaret Payne on her daughter's situation ( https://twitter.com/RozziP ).

I should also say Helena Wray dealt very well with the point that even on their own terms, the rules will cost money by forcing people onto benefits. Statistically migrants are more likely to work than UK born people, at least in many communities. She also dealt with racial, regional and sex discriminatory impacts of rules. She gave figures on median (as opposed to mean) average incomes across the regions. (follows on from the mac speaker last time who stated average incomes don't vary much across regions - I suspect he was referring to mean, no median averages. Big difference). More on this here : http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/press-releases/women-young-people-and-non-londoners-are-most-affected-changes-family-migration-polic

The parliamentarians on the panel were : Lib Dems - Sarah Teather ( http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/sarah-teather/25227 ), Lord Teverson ( http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/robin-teverson/54156 ), Baroness Hamwee ( http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/sally-hamwee/26734 ). Labour - Virendra Sharma ( http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/virendra-sharma/61606 ), Kate Green ( http://www.parliament.uk/biographies/commons/kate-green/84849 ). Also Peter Bottomley stuck his head round the door to speak to Margaret Payne (his constituent) at one point.

This is a very brief summary, I'm sure others had other take aways. I do think that the parliamentarians have been educated as to the impacts of the rules, and all parliamentarians (even rural MPs like Duncan Hames) have heavy caseloads.

Those parliamentarians listed above have all made contributions previously, at other meetings or in the Lords.

Liz's story ( http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/liz-via-facebook-with-permission.html ) was distributed in paper form at the start of the meeting.

Next steps - they write the report, due April.

Others may have other take aways, this is a very brief summary from memory.

Suggest following https://twitter.com/APPGMigration for more!


'Saudi Arabian princes exempt from UK immigration controls, court told' - astonishing - http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/mar/05/saudi-arabian-princes-immigration-controls

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