"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.

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Dina - Divided Family of the Week

“Since my dad and brother passed away, my mum has no one but me.  I cannot leave her by herself in another country so far away.”

Dina is a British citizen. She has lived in UK since 2004, the year she met her husband, also a British citizen.  The couple married in 2005 and now are proud parents to a three year old girl.

Dina moved here after graduating from a university in Russia as a teacher of English and German.  She pursued further teacher training in the UK including obtaining the Cambridge Certificate in teaching English.  Dina now teaches English at Kent Adult Education Service.

Her husband is a visual effects artist in the film industry in London.  They own a three bedroom home, have never claimed benefits - nor would they be entitled to given their financial situation.   

When Dina and her husband decided to start a family, Dina did not really worry about her parents, as her brother, a doctor by profession, was there to support them.

However, the last six years have been very tough for the family; Dina’s father died from cancer in 2009; her brother died four years later of a heart failure in what was a shock and devastating loss for both, Dina and her mum. 

Dina’s mum has not recovered from the ordeal of losing her young son, her health has suffered and all alone in Russia, all she now lives for are her visits to Dina and beloved granddaughter.

The family has not applied for settlement as Dina’s mum is currently aged 64.  However it does not seem worthwhile applying under the current rules even when she turns 65.

Dina is the sole surviving child.  Dina’s daughter, the only grandchild.  Other family in Russia consists of Dina’s two aunts, both older than her mum, living a 12-hour train journey away and unable to support their younger sister. 

Dina has no relatives in the UK from her side of the family; she misses her mum and longs for her to be able to have a presence in their family unit.  But as this is not permitted, Dina finds herself experiencing feelings of guilt, confusion and sadness that she cannot provide a peaceful family life for her mum, much deserved at this stage in life, and after all she’s been through.   It is beyond comprehension that British citizens in their own country cannot have a single elderly mum living with them!

Dina’s husband is now on the lookout for jobs in Europe, so that they may move elsewhere where they can be a family.  Not letting in one person who would have no recourse to public funds anyway, may see the departure of three British citizens who are no burden on the taxpayer and net contributors.  A boon for the net migration target, but at what cost for three British citizens and the family, friends and employers they leave behind?

Three generations together - Dina with her mum and daughter, Christmas 2014

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