Posted on September 21st 2012
The encouraging thing about the family immigration Rule changes introduced in July this year is the reaction. Aside from the indignation and anger, there is a determined core of people affected who are looking for every avenue to exploit to pressurise legislators and let everyone know their feelings and the actual effects ofthe rules.
Tell the Liberal Democrats
While we are certain to target all legislators, the Lib Dems seem to be in a contrite kind of mood at the moment. People on the I Love My Foreign Spouse facebook group (do check it out and get involved, it's one of the livelier and more constructive facebook groups about) are currently targeting Liberal Democrats, sensing a discrepancy between previous statements and voting behaviour from the MPs and their silence over the July Rule changes.
They are organising to get people to write their own personal letters to the Lib Dem haedquarters - why not include some family photos, wedding snaps or family stories to further personalise the case and take the issue away from dry policy making and into the real world?
The address of the Liberal Democrats is: 8-10 Great George Street, London SW1P 3AE, perhaps you might address your letter to Tim Farron, MP who is Leader of the Party.
Elderly Dependent Relatives - sign the petition
The rules determining whether an elderly depedent relative might join their adult children in the UK are especially Kafka-esque. We've hosted a blog on this previously and as our guest author points out there, the rules basically insist your elderly dependent relative must essentially be unfit to get on a long haul flight before they are eleigible to come to the UK.
Activists have started up an e-petition on this specific aspect of the Rule changes. If 100,000 people sign it there will be an obligatory debate on the floor of the House of Commons. That's a big if, and to achieve this target it means absolutely all your friends, workmates and family - for thousands of us.
Coalition of Organisations Coalescing
A number of groups have held a couple of meetings so far to discuss the formation of a free-standing campaign group, likely to be called the Divided Families Campaign. JCWI and Migrants' Rights Network took the lead on this initiative and have been joined in discussion by representatives from, amongst others, Migrant Voice, Migrant and Refugee Community Forum, Unison, Refugee Council, Kanlungan, Coram Children's Legal Centre. Nothing formal has yet been established, but do watch this space.
Looking for case studies
JCWI casework department is intereste in hearing from people with specific circumstances who have been adversely affected by the Rule changes. We are particularly interested in women who are earning beloew £18,600 due to childcare responsibilities and are separated from their spouse as a result. If your situation matches this scenario, please contact JCWI by email at email@example.com or by pohone o n 020 7251 8708.
We will not tire from working out a way of defeating these iniquitous rules, stay in touch and we'll keep you in the loop.