JCWI works to promote the rights of migrants within a human rights framework. One of the main ways we seek to achieve this aim, is through our lobbying work. This involves attempting to influence policymakers and those who impact upon immigration, nationality and refugee law.
Much of JCWI's policy work involves writing briefings to the House of Lords or Commons and related committees (e.g. the Joint Committee on Human Rights and the Home Affairs Select Committee). The briefings highlight our concerns about upcoming policy changes and the effects that they could have on migrants in the UK or those who plan to come to the UK. The aim being to change potentially detrimental or discriminative practice and to ensure that the policies adhere to the UK's Human Rights commitments.
We also work with wider forces, organisations and individuals, to try to affect change in law and policy in our campaigning work. This aspect of our work is collaborative and informed by our casework experience and policy output. We are unique in the way we combine our legal work with campaigning.
We are currently running two priority campaigns:
There is a fractured and weak opposition to the constant stream of xenophobic sentiment coming from the anti-immigration camp: Migration Watch, UKIP, the mainstream political parties and siginifcant parts of the media. The Movement Against Xenophobia, which held it's first meeting in September 2013, aims to create a coalition which will provide a broad, inclusive and vibrant alternative to constant invective from xenophobes in the UK and in Europe. We have a particular focus on the Immigratuion Bill, autumn 2013, the European Elections in May 2014 and the General Election a year later.
MAX combines the work JCWI has previously done in three previous campaigns: I Love Migrants, Irregularity and Europe.
This campaign has been running since June 2012, and is aimed at repealling the draconian and restrictive immigration rules on spousal and other family member visas introduced by the Home Secretary on 9 July 2012. There is a lot of information on the subject on our blog and we have held two successful protests, many packed Parliamentary meetings and a number of high profile media appearances, along with the briefings, meetings and questions asked of politicians across the main three parties.
The family immigration rules of July 2012 have had a devastating effect on thousands of UK / non-EEA families. The major focus on the impact of these rules until now has been on spouses, predictably as they are the majority of cases. However, many families have been detrimentally affected by the new adult dependent rules, unable to look after their aging parents in the UK and having to consider uprooting their lives in the UK to move back to their country of origin in order to care for them. Previously we have highlighted the plight of adult dependent relatives on this website but a year on from implementation of the rules detailed research on their impact and any form of legal challenge has been lacking.
JCWI is delighted to announce we have secured funding, from The Strategic Legal Fund, to carry out pre-litigation research into the impact these rules are having on families. In particular to assess the detriment to children by denying them family life with their grandparents and the wider consequences on the family of not having an extended family structure allowing childcare raising and child care to be shared.
If you and your family are unable to sponsor your parent to the UK, please take the time to fill in our questionnaire (below) and please do attend our briefing meetings for more information. The first briefing meeting is at JCWI’s offices in Old Street, London on Thursday 12 December 2013 at 6pm (download the flyer below).
In the first 3 months of the rules being implemented, just one visa was issue to an adult dependant relative. Our aim is to reorder priorities so the rights of families come before Government immigration targets.