"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.

Thursday 11 July 2013

Open letter to the Children's Commissioner, from someone affected by the family division rules

Per a previous post ( http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/u-rgent-message-from-migrants-rights.html ), the Children's Commissioner for England has requested stories from families affected by these devastating family division rules. 

Here is one family's story, shared with permission.

Get in touch with her at childrens.commissioner@childrenscommissioner.gsi.gov.uk

Dear Maggie Atkinson;

I received your information through a group that I am involved in trying to fight the immigration rules.  My name is John Cobb and I am an English citizen currently living in Texas, in the US.  I want to tell you my story and explain why we need your help changing these unfair rules.

I was born in England, as was my father, and his parents.  I came to the US 7 years ago.  I met my wife, Hayley in 2009 and married her in 2011.  In 2012 we had a beautiful baby boy who we call Ryan in honor of my late mother. I also have a 17 year old daughter from a previous relationship who is still in England named Lauren.  Lauren comes to visit us whenever possible and she and Ryan adore each other.  Hayley and I always intended to move back to the UK but it was only once we had the baby that we began to seriously look into the process and realized how difficult this move would be.  Our son, Ryan has a British passport and we foolishly believed once we had that the hard part was over.

You see, I'm an unskilled laborer.  In England I worked for Royal Mail for 10 years and I enjoyed my time there and hope to return to that position once I am finally home again.  In America I work part time for a bank.  Hayley, my wife, is the primary wage earner here.  She works as a supervisor in a corporate office for JP Morgan Chase & Co.  We had hoped she would be able to use her reputation with the bank to find a new position in England.  Hayley works during the day while I take care of our son, and I work in the evenings.  We make enough to support ourselves without government assistance and have no reason to believe we wouldn't be able to find work in England.  However, the amount of money that must be in savings to qualify to bypass the minimum wage requirement is simply impossible.

To meet the minimum wage requirement to bring my family to England I would have to leave Texas, find a job (Possibly two depending on the area of the country we decide to settle in and the wages available there) and wait for 6 months to qualify to apply for a visa for my wife.  I would expect to be away from my family for at least 9 months, and from what we are finding out the more we research it will probably be a lot longer than that.

If I want to return to the place of my birth, the only place I have ever considered home I have to make an impossible decision: When do I leave my family?  Do I leave now, when Ryan is too young to ask where his Daddy is and miss his first words, his first explorations into art, his discoveries on what he is capable of?  Do I leave when Ryan is older, when his memory will have the ability to miss me, to wonder where I went and why I'm not there to kiss him each morning? If I have to force my wife to live as a single parent do I do it now while so much of our energy is spent worrying over teething and ear infections, or do I do it later when she'll need help preparing him for school and the life ahead?

I hope you understand the difficulty here.  Of course neither of those options is a good choice for my son.  What he needs is his mother and father together, working to raise him to be the man we both know he can be.  What he needs is a stable home near his sister in a good community with people who know him and care for him.  However, what he's got right now is a father who is not meant to be an American but is no longer allowed to be British.

Please help us.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


No Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgment of his Peers, or by the Law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.
 - Magna Carta.

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