"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.

Friday 21 June 2013


“My mother would not be a burden on the state…she has enough financial savings of her own to buy a property and pay for private medical cover in the UK. She just wants to not be alone any more.”

Chen is a British citizen. He moved to the UK in 2000 from Beijing as a student. His family supported him by paying for his tuition fees and living expenses for the entirety of his student years.

Chen is one of the crème de le crème international students the government is keen to ensure continue coming to the UK – after graduating from university, Chen received a job offer which he accepted. After several years of working, paying taxes and NI contributions, Chen became a naturalised British citizen.

Chen’s mother is alone in China. She is retired and wishes to join her son. An accident has left her disabled and unable to walk unhindered. Her ex-husband, Chen’s stepfather was abusive leading to their divorce. Chen’s mother has recently decided she’d like to no longer be alone and would prefer to live with her son – her only child.

Chen understands people's concerns on the ever increasing public burden on NHS and other public sector facilities. (Note - Nursing Standard : ‘There would be no NHS without the contribution of immigrants’
- http://nursingstandard.rcnpublishing.co.uk/news-and-opinion/analysis/there-would-be-no-nhs-without-the-contribution-of-immigrants ).
However, this will not be the case for his family. His mum was a bookkeeper for a large state-owned company in China, with a great salary and fantastic benefits. As she never lived outside her means, she managed to have good savings. She even owns a property outright, without any outstanding mortgage. She's quite happy to sell her place and use the money to buy a property here.

She is also more than capable of using her savings to sign up for private health care.

She would not be a burden on the society as some people perceive. However, the new immigration rule sets up the criteria that simply nobody would qualify. (Note - 'A ban masquerading as a rule' : http://www.jcwi.org.uk/blog/2013/06/20/westminster-debates ).

Chen is frustrated that it’s because he is a British citizen he is being denied the right to have his mother join him in the country of his nationality. Non-EU elderly immigrants took up a miniscule portion of the total immigration number even under the previous rules and so denying people the right to look after their parents is not going to solve any of the perceived immigration ‘problems’ either.

It’s clear to Chen that this is just yet another political manoeuvre that will serve to help no one, least of all Brits and our country.

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