I’ve been contacted by Alexandra Stokes at Firecracker films (firstname.lastname@example.org) who is looking for participants for a BBC2 documentary about weddings.
While for many of us on here our day of bliss has been mired in visa processing, for those who have not yet been married, this is an opportunity to contribute to a documentary which aims to learn the perspectives and views of those who have recently moved here and explore different cultures in the UK.
More information is in this poster: Married In Britain Poster
I write in regard to the proposed new legislation to change family and marriage immigration law as proposed by Theresa May – http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jun/08/immigration-rules-couples-stark-choice?CMP=twt_gu .
As you may be aware, this legislation proposes to set an economic threshold (either in income or savings) to reunite families with members outside the EU – this could be a family reunion from the Indian subcontinent, or an expat in the US bringing their American spouse home, or a backpacker in Australia wishing to marry his Australian bride in the land of his birth. This also opens the possibility of British citizens having to leave their country and move to countries with poor human rights records.
I have recently brought my fiancee from Japan here on a fiancee visa. We are getting married in the next few weeks, and we will apply for a spouse visa as soon as we have married.
I am about to lose my job. I am in a very fortunate position in that I have I have substantial savings (over the very high threshold under the new rules), as well as my fiancee being ‘grandfathered in’, and should find another job quickly, as well as my fiancee being ‘grandfathered in’ under existing rules. I am absolutely terrified of how this legislation will affect my and my fiancee’s future. This should be a happy time in our lives and it is being ruined through no fault of our own.
The agenda of the government appears to be to prevent people from outside the EU settling in the UK – even at the expense of marriage or family life, human rights, and indeed to encourage British citizens – whose families may have been in the UK since time immemorial – to leave the UK in the name of reducing ‘net immigration’.
This is a deeply immoral piece of legislation. Keep up the fight!
For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?/Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
– Matthew 19 6-7 (King James)
As some of you may have already found out, a day of action is planned at parliament organised by the JCWI and MRN.
It takes place on Friday the 9th of July starting with a protest outside the Home Office at 16:30 and a mass lobby of MPs at the House of Lords at 18:30. This is the best opportunity for you to speak out and lobby your MPs in person and I would sincerely urge you attend: sponsor, spouse, relative or friend! More details can be found here.
Part of this in advance will be some letter sending – please find a template letter here to send to your MP asking them to attend the event and listen to you in person – the role of personal testimonies in this debate cannot be over-stated.
If you do contact an MP please FYI Jan Brulc at the Migrants Rights Network (email@example.com)- who is preparing the event.
The government has announced its plans to adopt the Migration Advisory Committee’s proposals on family immigration, taking effect on 9th July 2012. The Family Immigration Alliance, as an organisation formed around the needs of families and sponsors, has a clear objection to the government’s adoption of these proposals.
The proposals constitute a severe erosion of civil liberties for huge numbers of working sponsors, whereby the right to a family life has become conditioned beyond practicality at £18600; without recourse to public funds. While recognising the need to demonstrate support, the FIA considers the threshold of these proposals an act of obscene discrimination not only against citizens/residents with non-EU spouses, but against ethnic minorities, poor, young and disabled people. To deprive access to family members and the individual income they bring to a household presents the most vulnerable in society with an ominous future. More worryingly, it sets the foundation for a deeply stratified society, where finance extends beyond your quality of life, into your freedom to have a family at all.
The government has opted for a view that economics alone should be the benchmark for immigration rules across all categories. In the opinion of the FIA, this fails to recognise the non-economic motivations behind family immigration and indeed reveals how piecemeal the government’s efforts to support family life in the UK really are. This we find to be morally unacceptable and a shameful digression from the values of British society (not to mention their manifesto) – values that migrants across all categories are forced to prove their knowledge of for settlement purposes.
This has become an issue which starts with a supposed clamp down on a distracting minority of criminals and ends with the relegation of innocent UK sponsors to a second class of citizenship; dictated by personal finances.
The Family Immigration Alliance was set up to not to let sponsors be quietly reduced to collateral damage and will continue to campaign – now to restore the once equal rights of sponsors.
For sponsors there is of course no better time to speak up about this injustice. The FIA is here to voice your concerns. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your stories and reflections.