Campaigners call for new family migration rules on one-year anniversary

What a day! 9 July 2013 was one to remember in the Divided Families campaign with a lively day of action in Westminster.

Last Tuesday showed the united front in support of the campaign against the new family migration rules, as people from across the UK gathered in Westminister to make their voices heard. MRN, JCWI, Britcits and the Family Immigration Alliance organised a day of action to spread the word about the campaign, with the close involvement of many other organisations and affected families. 

As the 9 July - the one year anniversary of the new family migration rules - arrived, campaigners' morale was high as a result of the recent show of support across parliament for the campaign, and the sympathetic judgment on 5 July issued by the High Court in the case of MM & Ors v SSHD. The afternoon began with a trip to Downing Street for a small group of campaigners, including MRN, to present a petition signed by over 3500 people to No 10. 

Around 180 people then gathered outside the Home Office on Marsham Street for a lively demonstration. A BBC news crew accompanied the demonstrators as well as photojournalists and regional radio stations who covered the story.

Finally, a Committee room in parliament was packed with over 160 families (including many small children), charities, lawyers, MPs and peers, and plastered with photographs of divided families. The meeting was a powerful and energised presentation of the ways in which the rules have affected families across the UK. Presentations and interventions were made by many couples, parents and grandparents whose families had been split up by the rules, with statements of support from Maggie Atkinson, the Children's Commissioner of England, Keith Vaz MP, Sarah Teather MP, Baroness Sally Hamwee, Fiona MacTaggart MP, Kate Green MP and David Ward MP among others.

The campaign activity in recent months, culminating in the day of action on 9 July, has shown the determination behind the campaign, the widespread sympathy for its objectives, and the growing momentum building towards a change in the rules. A sincere and heartfelt thanks to all who have put their time and effort into this campaign thus far. We now have more work to do, but should feel confident that, together, we are helping to put this critical issue on the agenda - whether the government likes it or not.

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You done very good job can u please do something for student who have no right to work

Is this very good i.just git married 5 months ago but till now my wife

Didnt appliedbecause of these ugly and hard rules

I hope soon the goverment will change the rules and reduce

The minimum wage ... i hope soon we will be together with

Our partners families and friends who.are far away from us

I miss my wfie sooo badly and she miss me too ..we do talk

Everyday and everyday her tears make me angry because of this
New rules ...gooo gooo gooo we can fight for our rights MAY GOD BLESS ALL


i so wish i went on the 9th of July..Please change the rules.

The problem with this current government is, they just will not listen even if their recent changes to the immigration rules are totally unfair, and unjust. Governments when voted in don't care or, take any notice of peoples feelings for as long as their policy changes have the desired effect like driving immigrant numbers down, or saving money my depriving the poorest people of a basic living standard. In fact immigrants have been blamed for everything that as not gone right with the British economy because, its what the majority of the British people have been brainwashed into believing by our Coalition government. Even when some come out in support of the 9th July campaign, don't believe them in their entirety. Only positive action speaks louder then cheap words.

The British government will carry on the watering down of the Human rights act until such time they are completely useless and, unfit for purpose. The government often like to lecture China and, other Asian countries about their Human rights yet British Human rights to a family life are being taken away. Dictatorship springs to mind and, good bye to Democracy.

Me and my wife sepereta almost 6 months because of the rul we apply against to decision we can just wait.i dont know what to do.i can just prey for back together soon

Thanks and highly appreciations on the united Family life.Similarly has to be done about BOC.BPP and CUKC passport holders who are treated as foreiners,and no NI number to work but to stay in UK for 20 years.How where not mentioned.Is Govt .going to provovide them,houseing fundings and medications and educations to their Children?These are the persons to whom most of the politicians will go and beg the votes and taxpeople ask the taxes.AS they are holding BOC.BPP and CUKC passports not to be treated as foreiners as first letter or word indicate that BRITISH.Most of these passport holders are from African countries and Asia,so there is a smell of Racialism and what our Govt preaching for Human Rights in foreign countries but here in Britain,the Act on Human Rights and Race discriminations.Sex ect ect are very very hollow,so it is we who have to open the eyses of the Govt.

I'm sorry I couldn't make it on the day because I was on holiday that time and YES agreed, let's change the rules back.

These immigration laws are not just unfair but heart breaking and tormenting.

I've been out of work for a long time due to illness and now I am fit to look for a job.

The jobs that I can get into give me only a national minimum wage that doesn't equal to £18,600, so how am I suppose to call my husband over.

These laws are ridiculous and yes they do tear families apart.

Even the law of having to speak, read and write English is ridiculous as well because in other countries English is not native to the people who live there. Hence their are less provisions and resources to educate a person. Alternatives should have been though of like just doing security checks and allowing people to complete the English test over here in the UK- that is if the person cant find other means of work. i.e. you don't need English to work in an Asian chip shop or restaurant and still can earn a living here.

The government needs to stop treating ordinary people like terrorists/ alien people; think with their hearts and let loved ones reunite with their families.

Families are not a security risk and neither are they a business that new immigration laws in the UK need to be imposed. Stop punishing innocents for other peoples mistakes i.e. 7/7 attacks.

I hope these rules change asap. Ive been married for 3 years and have been separated with my husband for two years. I came back home (England) hoping to start a family but these rules stopped us. We applied for visa in april but got denied in June because of not meeting the income threshold. I already work full time and still dont meet the threshold and have to start parttime work and reapply in 6 months times. A waste of time for our future together. How I find full time work? Do I not get any rest? We can't build a family together have children because we are separated and wont be able to meet the income requirements even more with a child. I really wanted to atten the meeting but was working unfortunately. Im just waiting for this rule to be changed. Why can't genuine people like us be with our loved one. I have been working throughout the whole of my life I havent depended on benefits so why this? Im just hoping this rule changes for divided families like us. Im just waiting unpatiently for the rule change.

If the MPs referred to above are really against May's obnoxious rules , why do they not speak up in parliament about the unfairness and discrimination and quote specific examples of the effects of the rules , eg . if one person living in UK for 2 years has a bad memory and not good at exams and fails the "life in Uk " test , she or he is not given a ILR visa and is effectively kicked out whereas a person with a good memory gets the ILR visa and is allowed to continue to live with his or her partner in the UK . The same applies to the language test when the applicant is not coming to the UK to work or claim benefit as fully supported by the UK partner - any linguistic knows it is far easier to learn a new language when living in the country where it is spoken and attending classes and helped by the Uk partner and communicating in English all the time .

Actually, family life is a privilege and not a right. Article 8 is the right to respect for family life, not the right to family life.

"ARTICLE 8 - Right to respect for private and family life

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."

So for the economic well-being of the country, it is technically perfectly legitimate for Theresa May to set a minimum income level.

what a pathetic comment " anonymous" !! Would you say the same thing if you or a member of your family, eg a brother , had a none EU wife or fiancee and one of you could not surmount one of the obstacles placed in your way by Thersa May ??. Hence you are not allowed to live with your partner in your own country ! ( I assume you are a Uk citizen ) . Of course we know the answer which shows your comments are nonsense ! But as you are not affected , you support May's regulations which Hitler or Stalin would approve of.

and would you make your first disgusting comment if you were deprioved of a family life because of some obnoxious rule ? You would not then say that family life was NOT a righ would you ?? If you did still say it was a privileger mimicking the words of Theresa May , you are not sincere and not telling the truth . You also talk garbage on "well being of the country" as , if it was so, why is anyhbody allowed in as family immigrants are not a drain on respurces ?? !

peter says:

July 23, 2013

"what a pathetic comment " anonymous" !! Would you say the same thing if you or a member of your family, eg a brother , had a none EU wife or fiancee and one of you could not surmount one of the obstacles placed in your way by Thersa May ??. Hence you are not allowed to live with your partner in your own country ! ( I assume you are a Uk citizen ) . Of course we know the answer which shows your comments are nonsense ! But as you are not affected , you support May's regulations which Hitler or Stalin would approve of. "

I am merely pointing out that the ladies with the banners are technically incorrect. I did not write the European convention on human rights, its not my fault it doesn't support your side of the argument.

I think this is an issue mainly due to chain migration. It could easily be solved by refusing spouse visas to second and third generation migrants, if the country concerned was the one their ancestors came from. Either that or insist both their parents are British citizens.

The family migration numbers would be reduced considerably and there would be more room for flexibility.

I was at the demonstration with my husband of two years, we have been together 5 years only the Government won't let us have a normal married life. My husband has no right to work, no right to healthcare, or to have a bank account, he has a daughter from his first marriage who is British, and I have no mortgage on the house and work having never claimed benefits in my life. We have to pay Council Tax for him, even though he is not recognised as a citizen, but he is not allowed EVEN to be treated like a human being. Yet criminals are allowed to have their human rights recognised in this country - genuine people are treated like rubbish just because their partner is not from the EU. I think that people with non EU partners are treated like this because we are the easy target, the Government can do nothing about EU immigration, so lets target the rest! The stress this has caused and is still causing with no end in sight is indescribable. We have been to hell and back over and over again and still we are together. The Government think the worse they treat us the more likely it is we will give up and then they have won. THEY ARE STEALING OUR LIVES! and they should not be able to get away with it.

I have a boyfriend of 4 years. He livesin Salem, South India. I am a British citizen.
When he came to preach 4 years ago we met in UK
Again when he came to preach in October 2012 he proposed to me. Again he came on a preaching errand. Now he is back a t South India. As Iam not working and on benefits-DLA ,SDA. Income suprpot, Housing benefit./ I am unabel to sponsor him to UK. is there any way I can marry him and live in UK. It is very emotional to live withouluryour husband to be
I was told monthly earning should be at least $18,600 with payslips for 6 monhts.
Icannot produce such.. So can't I get married. Should I be denied of marriage with the person I love and want to share my life.
Please explain.

Why do people use the "anonymous" tag as ,. if a few use it, nobody can respond to them as which anonymous is it .? PLEASE have the sense to use an invented name if not comfortable using own name but NOT " anonymous " .

first anonymous - you failed to answer my specific questions designed to demonstrate how a person's attitude and views can quickly change if some obnoxious regulation affects them personally . I notice this when I explain what is really happening to people whose views are formed after reading Daily Mail headlines and articles attacking and demonising immigrants !

hi Mary,
your situation is a sad one but the Tory policy attacking family immigrants is done solely for political purposes , ie to enhance their 2015 re-election prospects . there is no element of humam kindness, compassion or fairness in Theresa May's one size fits all rules and she and Cameron are church going CHRISTIANS .!! A pity the Church leaders stay silent on May;s attack on human rights to a family life even if a UK citizen has a none EU fiancee or spouse .!

i show my email to my MP's secretary who will again either fob me off or not reply at all - nothing more certain than that . But one can see what we are up against with these Tories whose only thought is to enhance their re-election prospects and preserving their well paid cushy jobs ( my MP will not even agree to meet me at one of his surgeries or answer my specific questions ! ) .

Dear Ms Young ,
The recent letter from you dated 15th July was, with respext, the usual "foboff" and only stated the obvious which I of course knew already , ie Sir George supports May's draconian and cruel rules although he is wrong to say it is honouring the agreement to reduce none EU immigration as it was to reduce net immigration to tens of thousands and no mention of NONE EU discrimination !
So I again Sir George to have the courage and good manners to answer my questions . I reiterate them HEREUNDER and ask him to answer them as human being with compassion and some understanding of the cruel EFFECTS and blatant discrimination caused by the May regulations and not as an MP with political only considerations. He should put himself in the shoes of those deprived of a family life who claim NO benefits and are self sufficient . It is wrong to think solely of Tory re-election prospects and remember that the people affected are human beings and NOT just NUMBERS !!

1. I ask him to reply and comment on the points I raised which relate to family immigration where the UK citizen and his partner will NOT be claiming benefits and the partner will NOT be working - Of course I agree that anybody coming here to WORK needs english skills prior to arriving but that is a different category ! The first paragraph of my previous email sets out in more detail ,.
I think both Sir George and I know that the aim of Theresa may's rule brought in on 29.11.2010 is to reduce net immigration numbers . If you deny this as Damien Green did , then why was an english test not deemed necessary before that date for MANY years under both Tory and Labour admisistrations ?? It is because , as any linguistic expert will tell you , it is far easier for a person to learn the language where the language is spoken , ie UK , with the help of her partner plus him paying for anglish lessons if necessary . Only after the prime Minister's pledge to reduce net immigration to tens of thousands did it come into being which says it all !!
2. Sir George says he supports the policy in PRINCIPLE , ie Theresa May's regulations introduced from 29.11.2010 , and I therfore ask if he would still say the same thing if a self supporting member of his family eg a brother or a sister or cousin, was prevented from living with his or her NONE EU spouse or partner in the UK simply because the foreign partner was unable to surmount one of the obstacles placed in the way by Theresa May for whatever reason . Hence your family member is deprived of the right to a normal FAMILY LIFE . When responding, please bear in mind that neither the visa applicant or his or her UK partner will be making a claim for benefits either now or in the future ( this is often thrown in as a red herring by Ministers ! ).
I assume Sir George would not then support May's rules unless of course he did not like his family member or even detested him or her and wished to prevent him or her having a normal happy family life which he presumably enjoys himself ! If my assumption is correct , how does it square with his support for the policy in PRINCIPLE please ?What is this "principle" which involves causing people misery and distress and there are situations much worse than mine sometimes involving children . I had hoped Sir George would read the links in my previous email and perhaps consider the whole matter from other than a political ( ie improving Tory re-election prospects ) viewpoint .

Its so stressful having to live apart from my husband, its now up to me to keep travelling out of the UK to see my husband, I don't know what is going to happen if I can not fund the travel cost which is becoming more and more expensive travelling out to the Jamaica.

i agree with the new rules it will defiantly flush out those who fraud the system and manipulate the law for their own greed especially when they marry for a scam to gain a visa.

Is the problem really non-EU members? I don't think so. If any family of the 27 EU member states can just wake up one morning and move the entire members of his housewhold to uk and fit in to the benefit system the next day without contributing a single pound to the economy, do you then call the hard working Non-Eu and British citizens as cheats? separating them from their families? This is injustice. Let Theresa May be separated for one day from her grand child alone, not even her own child and lets see how she will feel. Lets be sincere to ourselves.

hi Denny,
Actually this heartless woman has no children and probably her main aim in life is to stop us having a family life if our fiancee or spouse happens to be from a none EU country . She is a bitter and twisted woman trying to bring in any rule which can help to achieve her goal and help Tory re-election prospects. There is not an ounce of human kindness or compassion in the soul of this church going CHRISTIAN .

Im norwegean, married to a non EU cit., for almost 4 years and a relationship of 6 yrs. they refused as as they believe its a false marriage and i didnt earn 250000£! They have also put him in the SIS register without our knowing which makes it impossible for us to move free inside EU! I hate the government which discriminates women, but let older men get their 30 yr younger wifes into the country. In our case, they have destroyed our joy, our life, bcs our life is only struggle! What is the evil forces behind this? Why is marriage so difficult, but criminal acts are not punished elsewhere? Who can decide who you want to marry? I knew i wouldnt make it easy for myself, but since i knew it was the right thing to do.... I want justice!!! My life is surreal!

Tory government policy lead by the heartless and inhumane rules of Theresa may is purely to assist Tory re-election prospects in 2015 and what is right or wrong does not enter the minds of these anti i foreigner bigots .