Parliament has just had a debate on family migration rules - now it’s time to make your voice heard!
Since the government’s announcement about major reforms to the family migration rules last week, there has been plenty of public debate about family life and immigration in the UK.
Parliamentary debate over the last couple of days has been dominated by the government’s controversial proposal to ‘more clearly define’ the application of Article 8 (the right to a family life) to immigration cases. There was little that was clear about Tuesday night’s four-hour, meandering debate in the House of Commons about the motion put forward by the home secretary on this issue. Her aim was to ‘send a strong message’ to the judiciary regarding parliament’s view on Article 8 in immigration cases. But although the motion was passed in the end, the debate reflected both the home secretary’s lack of clarity about what was being proposed, and unhappiness among a number of MPs about the way the motion and debate had been set up.
But what about public views about the wider reforms to family migration which are due to come into force in just a few weeks? We know from the public responses to the family migration consultation - all 5000 of them - that many people opposed these rule changes. And, since the announcement, at MRN we’ve had many emails and phone calls from people who are worried or just angry about these rule changes. Because the changes are coming into force so soon means that many people are concerned about how this will affect family members in the future. MRN has put together a new briefing paper which summarises the key rule changes and why we think many of them are particularly problematic.
We want to, on 9th July, send a message to the government that reforms to the family migration rules which will have unfair impacts are not welcome. In particular although concessions have been made on the level of the income threshold, we still cannot agree with policies that could shut out nearly half - the poorest half - of the working population of the UK from being reunited with their spouse or partner here. In addition it is just not fair to extend the time before spouses and partners can apply for settlement here, introducing new insecurity and costs for this group.
What you can do!
So, before or building up to the 9th July 2012, here are the things you can do:
Come to a meeting in Parliament on family migration rule changes. MRN and JCWI will be holding a joint meeting entitled 'The new family migration rules: dividing families, disrupting integration’ in the Houses of Parliament at 6.30pm on 9th July 2012. You can register for the meeting here. All are welcome provided you register first.
- You can write to your MP and ask him/her for a face-to-face meeting and to speak at the 9th July meeting in Parliament.
If you are interested in getting involved in public meetings, campaigning or letter-writing, please contact Juan Camilo (firstname.lastname@example.org) at MRN
For media enquiries contact Jan Brulc (email@example.com).
if you are concerned about how the changes might affect you or a family member, we suggest you read the statement of changes directly, or seek legal advice on your position.