The second session of verbal evidence to the APPG inquiry on the family immigration restrictions of July 9 2012 happened on Monday.
Present on the panel were: Sarah Teather (Lib Dem MP), Baroness Hamwee (Lib Dem Peer), Virendra Sharma (Labour MP), Kate Green (Labour MP) and Lord Teveson (Lib Dem Peer). This time the panel of expert witnesses (pictured) submitting evidence were:
One would imagine Daily Express readers would have bored of it by now, but the editor obviously thinks the fear has not been instilled deeply enough, the intolerance enflamed high enough or the xenophobia whipped up adequately. Today (19 February) saw the twentieth article about the coming ‘flood’ of immigrants from Romania and/or Bulgaria at the beginning of 2014. Given that we’re a year away from the restrictions on working and movement being lifted, it promises to be a grim year for Express readers.
Most articles are accompanied by pictures of grubby horse and carts, grubby children or of people walking through grubby streets carrying plastic bags. It’s a pretty desperate picture the paper is printing.
On Monday 11 February, I attended the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Migration inquiry into the effects of the family immigration restrictions introduced in July 2012. It was the first (of two) sessions on verbal evidence into the It has decided to focus its remit on to two key issues: the income requirement and elderly dependent relatives.
Last night was the first of two verbal sessions, the second will be held on 4th March. On the panel to consider the evidence were: Sarah Teather (LibDem MP), Lord Hussain (LibDem Peer), Baroness Hamwee, Chair (LibDem Peer), Kate Green (Lab MP) and Lord Teverson (LibDem Lord)
Guest Post by Chris Mead. Chris is the sponsor of a non EEA spouse and founder of the Family Immigration Alliance. After his own experiences as a Brit re-entering his home country he set up the blog in 2011 to promote the experiences and perspectives of families under the new immigration rules.
In May 2010, a couple of internet savvy people initiated what was to become one of the most consistently refreshing facebook groups around, I Love Immigrants. Since then there have been around 800 Immigrants of the Day, each one chosen to spotlight further the positive role played by immigrants in the UK. The Immigrant of the Day is always someone in the public eye, avoiding the need to produce copy each day, providing a link to either the lucky person’s Wikipedia page or some other official website.
We asked the founders to explain their plan.
The Life in the UK test looks likely to change with each government as they try to mould the minds of the few people that jump through all the hoops and apply for citizenship or settlement in the UK in their ideal way.
So, half way through this Parliament, the Coalition Government has rewritten the test, giving us one that portrays Margaret Thatcher in a much more favourable light than previously. We can't imagine many people would exactly get worked up about Tony Blair’s reputation getting a drubbing. Given the nature of the coalition it is remarkable that we don’t get a glowing review of Mrs Thatcher, coupled with a line or two about Paddy Ashdown being an OK politician and a war hero, just to keep the junior partners happy.
Regular readers of this blog won’t need to have been blessed with the sharpest observational skills to notice our passion for family unity. Our key campaign is centred on cross-border couples who are partly rooted in the UK. JCWI views immigration policy and law from a human rights based starting point, and the right to family life is enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights and, of course, The European Convention on Human Rights.
In a country which seems fixated with immigration figures, and the arguments over benefits and burdens of immigration, perhaps it is worth using today, International Migrants Day, to take a step back, look at the global picture and get a better more informed perspective on the discussions that have dominated the year in the immigration sector in the UK.
As Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations points out, there are more than 214 million people on the move in the world. Just a tiny number of them come to the UK.
In February this year we sent our submission to Lord Justice Leveson outlining our experience and concerns regarding the press coverage of Asylum and Immigration.
Looking at the section of Leveson starting on page 668 (in volume II) the report gives much to appreciate in its understanding of the coverage of Ethnic minorities, immigrants and asylum seekers. Unfortunately this section is getting somewhat less coverage in the media than many others, it deserves a far higher priority.
Here is the talk given at JCWI's AGM on 26 November 2012 by Raza Husain QC (Matrix Chambers) on Legal Challenges to the Family Immigration rule changes of July 2012. Other speeches from the seminar will be publuished in due course.
Sound quality is good, excepting the bits of whispering that occur just in the first minute, but you can hear the whole speech!
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