"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.

Monday, 20 May 2013

How a house fire 20 years ago threatens Anne-Marie’s right to stay in the only country she knows.


Anne-Marie came to the UK to join her family in 1974 when she was 17. A decade later, her Jamaican passport was destroyed in a fire, but as Anne-Marie had no plans to travel abroad, she wasn't unduly concerned and didn't try to replace it. It was only later she discovered that, along with her passport, proof of her immigration status had also gone up in smoke. The Home Office claimed to have no record of her. As a result, Anne-Marie is now unable to claim state benefits and it is only help from her family - including her mother, now in her 80s - and church friends, that has saved her from destitution.

Marc was at university and planning to go travelling when he first discovered he didn't have a passport. Although his mother was an immigrant, Marc had lived here all his life and when his passport application was rejected, he just assumed the office had made a mistake and reapplied. By the time his fourth application was refused, he began to feel intensely insecure and as if he didn't belong anywhere. It was only after Marc sought legal advice that he was able to provide the proof the authorities needed in order to be granted a passport. But while his immigration status is now regularised, the damage to his wellbeing and sense of identity has been less easy to resolve.

https://twitter.com/emmabmoussa tweets :
Wish I could wake up tmw and the arthritis is gone, my Hubbie Is allowed to stay with my son and I and we can start a normal family life


Factcheck : Will London be mostly foreign by 2031?


British-born Londoners (present Mayor excepted) reading this morning's Sun were greeted with the prospect of being in a minority in less than 20 years. According to the paper, by 2031 the capital will be populated by more foreigners than British-born people.

The subheading reads: "Oxford University population research prediction", referring to Oxford University's Migration Observatory research group. They released a briefing this morning on London's population statistics as revealed by the 2011 Census.

However, a look at the briefing note itself reveals no such prediction was made by the Observatory - the document presents an account of the current population profile of London and compares this to 2001. No attempt is made at a projection into the future.


Afghanistan civilians : April 2013.


One of the most desperately poor, war-torn nations on earth, Afghanistan attracts our attention mostly for the wrong reasons. Well over 30 percent of the population lives in absolute poverty, with as many clinging to their places just barely above the poverty line. While Afghanistan is the world's leader in opium exports, domestic consumption afflicts almost a quarter of a million, with an additional 150,000 addicted to heroin, triple the number from 2005. Violence against women and girls continues. But rich cultural traditions abound, and Afghan society is making progress. Gathered here are images of the colorful yet troubled lives of Afghan civilians.

Greco-Buddhist art.

If people could immigrate anywhere, would poverty be eliminated?


What if there was a program that would cost nothing, improve the lives of millions of people from poorer nations, and double world GDP? At least one economist says that increased mobility of people is by far the biggest missed opportunity in development. And an informally aligned group of advocates is doing its best to make the world aware of the "open borders" movement, which suggests that individuals should be able to move between countries at will.

Vipul Naik is the face, or at least the voice, of open borders on the Internet. In March 2012, he launched Open Borders: The Case, a website dedicated to the idea. Naik, a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics at the University of Chicago, is striving for "a world where there is a strong presumption in favor of allowing people to migrate and where this presumption can be overridden or curtailed only under exceptional circumstances." Naik and his two primary co-writers, Nathan Smith and John Lee, parse research into immigration impacts, answering claims by those they call "restrictionists"--people who argue against open borders--and deconstructing writings on migration by economists, politicians, journalists, and philosophers.





27% of Spaniards are out of work. Yet in one town everyone has a job.

Special Report: Marinaleda is run along the lines of a communist Utopia and boasts collectivised lands.


As Spanish unemployment reaches another record high, the residents of rural Marinaleda could be forgiven for feeling a little smug.

In the small village in deepest Andalusia, the joblessness remains firmly – and almost certainly uniquely within Spain – at zero. With one set of traffic lights, two bars (one jammed with football paraphernalia for the First Division side Seville) and one central avenue lined with of low terraced houses, Marinaleda looks like many villages in western Andalusia.

 Flag of Republican Spain.

Photography of China | Migrant workers.


Thereafter and over the course of five-years period, he devoted himself to the depiction of miners (Miners I, Miners II), their families (Miners’ Families), their surroundings (The Landscape of Coal-mine), and the people whose occupations are connected with the mines (Coal-Mine Community). Together, these photographs offer an intuitive, personal and powerful portrait of the impact of mining on a small community.

His two recent series Migrant workers and Hold tackle with the influx of immigrants in China by using the same touch: straightforward yet powerful black and white portrait. This at first anonymous miner quickly achieved fame since nowadays many events and galleries around the world featured his artworks. He lives and works in Beijing.


Metafilter thread on 'swivel-eyed loons' with some good comments.


I'm an immigrant. Don't worry - I'm not stealing all your jobs - just one!

I hope that's okay. I mean, I'm not on benefits, so that's one myth dispelled, right? I'm paying my all my proper taxes - at least, that's what it says on my payslip every month. And I'm definitely not using any loopholes.

And I don't have any children, so I'm not receiving child benefit, or sending my children to a publicly-funded school, or getting free prescriptions and dental care on the NHS for this child. And it's totally cool that the money's going to your children instead - healthy, happy, and well-educated children are important, right? That's why you're completely reorganising the education system, right?

Plus, I'm not usually that ill, so I'm not using a lot of the NHS. A few prescriptions, but fairly cheap ones. It's better that the money goes towards you, especially if more measles or rubella outbreaks occur. I mean, I'm vaccinated, and that only cost me a few dollars, so I'd hate to take any money away from you if you get sick!

And I bought my house on a good mortgage and didn't get any government funding either. Boy, let me tell you, that was difficult, too! Not having a credit rating in this country makes it really hard to get anything done, but now I'm paying my council tax, because the county council does so much for us!

So I really hope it was okay that I moved over here. I mean, along with the whole rigmarole of moving, I had to pay a lot of money to get that permanent residency sticker in my passport. I don't quite remember how much it was 12 years ago, but now it's £753 for it. And I hope it's okay that I haven't started the process for naturalisation, yet. I mean, I want to, of course, because then I'll be able to vote, but I don't really have £874 for it right now, not to mention the £50 for the Life in the UK test, or the £80 for the naturalisation ceremony.

And I know that you probably really wanted my job, and that it's really awful that you're in a different job, but I hope we can still be friends!


(fond of HAMBURGER)


The enforcement culture that frames Home Office immigration policy has manifested itself in a defensive and largely negative approach to policy. Meanwhile public anxiety about immigration in the UK remains high. Positive, customer-focused services need to be introduced into policy making, says Alice Sachrajda.


https://twitter.com/kenanmalik tweets :
'People pay to be tortured so that they can claim asylum': the extraordinary logic of the UK Border Agency:

https://twitter.com/SOSinai tweets :
Philmon, one of the victims of #humantrafficking in #Sinai, freed and speaking to BBC's Mike Thompson of his ordeal

https://twitter.com/MigrantVoiceUK tweets :
Excellent photo documenting of Glasgow's 'infamous' refugee tower blocks Red Road

https://twitter.com/MigRightsScot tweets :
Can #Scotland & #UK have 2 diff #immigration approaches while border remains open @Sun_Pol_Scot asks:

https://twitter.com/joseiswriting tweets :
VIDEO: social media powers #immigration reform movement--immigration IS documented: http://bit.ly/YbM8zD 

The Arbour is celebrating the diversity of London's East End.


https://twitter.com/DetentionAction tweets :
The Queen's staff are supporting @DetentionAction in their campaign to #endDFT pic.twitter.com/9uST44LEyh

https://twitter.com/AsylumAid tweets :
Several thousand on the march for #legalaid pic.twitter.com/15bBqDV2XI

https://twitter.com/sundersays tweets :
V.poor E.Standard: ignores @migobs research but copies out The Sun claim of London pop of 12m in 2031! No attribution pic.twitter.com/VeH4DgseXM

https://twitter.com/MigrationUK tweets :
Now 72,000 Nepali migrants in the UK but what do we really know about them? Book review by @AnyaRPearson at http://tinyurl.com/cy4bux5  p. 26

Borders of the Mind: The uneasy politics of national frontiers and why it’s not always best to forever be in control....


Two recently published books set out graphic examples of what happens when national states stoke up the stake they have in the borders business.  The continuum that runs from huge inconvenience through to terrible suffering for those who hope to cross these frontiers is just one part of the story.  Another, more mundane, consequence is the unproductive expenditure in wire and concrete fences that meander through deserts without any point other than to impede human passage.

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