"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 30 August 2013

Immigration and children (spotted in Hansard)


Baroness Lister of Burtersett (Labour) :
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how the Home Office ascertains and takes into account the wishes and feelings of children before making decisions to hold parents in immigration detention, continue their detention, or deport or forcibly remove them; and how the Home Office's duties to safeguard children and promote their welfare under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 are implemented in such situations.

Lord Taylor of Holbeach (Whip, House of Lords; Conservative) :
Where detention of an immigration offender, or continued detention in the case of a criminal who is already separated from his family by virtue of the custodial sentence passed by the courts, will affect a pre-existing family unit it is our practice to ensure that safeguarding child welfare issues are taken into account, and weighed against the need to detain and implement deportation or removal. In such cases close attention is given to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and Article 3 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The aims of both these are supported by paragraphs 396 to 400 of the Immigration Rules. These changes were introduced on 9 July 2012 so as to deliver in individual cases where a parent is liable to deportation outcomes that are compatible with the two conventions mentioned and with Section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009. In all such cases we are open to discovering the views of the children concerned. This is done principally through the parents and others who are in close contact with the children and are trusted by them.

Baroness Lister is the former Director of the Child Poverty Action Group and a notable social campaigner and humanitarian. Lord Taylor of Holbeach is the Conservative home affairs spokesman in the Lords.

Baroness Lister previously : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/divided-families-day-of-action.html

Lord Taylor previously : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/lords-debate.html

It's worth at this point reminding ourselves of the Children's Commissioners' endorsement of the findings of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration's devastating report on the impact of family immigration rules. The Children's Commissioners for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland represent the interests of children within government - theirs is a voice that needs to be listened to.

The Children's Commissioners :
We support the central recommendation of the report calling on the Government “to commission an independent review of the minimum income requirement” drawing on evidence of the impact of the changes made to the family migration rules since July 2012. In particular we welcome the proposal that the Immigration Rules should:
“....ensure that children are supported to live with their parents in the UK where their best interests require this. Decision-makers should ensure that duties to consider the best interests of children are fully discharged when deciding non-EEA partner applications. Consideration should be given to enabling decision-makers to grant entry clearance where the best interests of the child require it.”

(read more : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/uk-childrens-commissioners-endorse.html )

... For example, in the Chief Inspector’s review of 37 applications for entry clearance on the basis of marriage under the Immigration Rules where there was a child in the UK, not one contained any reference to the best interests of the child.
(quoted from the UK Children's Commisioners' briefing on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration -
read more : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/some-staff-told-us-that-they-did-not.html )

Skype Mummy : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhHpaq4KBxY

Skype Daddy : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKrCUaKB4KM

Bye bye Papa : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kN6vuL8vrhg

The stories about children divided from parents are the most distressing for me, personally. Whereas adults can to an extent cope with the vicissitudes of life, no matter how unjust, innocent children really can't - and really need their parents and their families.

Compare Lord Taylor's response with this - 'on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department' :
At two and three years old respectively, it is considered that x and y are of an age where they would be able to readjust to life without you.


It is noted from your application form that you have referenced that you are still breast feeding [son]. However the fact that you are breastfeeding, in itself, does not confer a derivative right. Depriving the child of the ability to be breastfed by you if you are required to leave the UK is not regarded as depriving the child of the benefit of its rights as a Union citizen. should this particular aspect of the case wish to be pursued then you may wish to make an Art 8 application as detailed later in this letter.

(read more : http://britcits.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/on-behalf-of-secretary-of-state-for.html , http://pearsall.eu/recent-posts/ )


Colin Yeo on 9th July :
It was, frankly, distressing to be surrounded by so many fragmented, broken half families so bitterly angry at the violence done to them by Theresa May and her rules. I lost count of the apparently single mothers around the crowd, accompanied by babies, toddlers and a few children old enough to be consciously aware and articulate about what it was like to be separated from one’s father. Bailey Yamamoto spoke. At eight months pregnant she faces giving birth alone, and her husband will never be able to recover the lost opportunity to be with his new born baby.
(read more : http://www.freemovement.org.uk/2013/07/16/divided-families/ )

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