Valentines day saw heartbreaking scenes at St Pauls Cathedral as half a dozen brides without grooms gathered with supporters on the steps of the landmark church to protest their predicament of broken families. The message was clear – Theresa May not only wrecks Valentines Day for these people, it is a constant fact of life for thousands of people across the country. Two and a half years after the pernicious family rules on immigration were introduced, the campaign is stronger than ever and is attracting more and more people affected by the rules.
Just a short post to highlight the latest initiative of MAX (movement against xenophobia) against the Immigration Bill. Last week saw an entirely unsatisfactory debate in the House of Commons, which was labelled the Bill's third reading by the Government.
Our main points of contention, purely on the tactics of the government in their return to ramming the Bill through at the expense of real scrutiny and deliberation by our elected representatives are:
Sachin came to the UK to work as a doctor in the NHS in 2003 under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) on the understanding that he would qualify for settlement after five years, and then as a British Citizen should be able to bring his parents into the country to care for them when they reached 65 years of age.
Wednesday 15 January saw a packed Committee Room 12 in the Palace of Westminster as MAX (Movement Against Xenophobia) held a Parliamentary meeting to alert Lords to the insidious qualities of the Immigration Bill, coming their way from the Commons in the near future.
Timing the meeting proved to be a challenge as the Bill, previously flying through Parliament at an alarming rate was stalled before Xmas by a right-wing amendment placed by Tory backbenchers wanting to use the bill as leverage in their UK out of Europe campaign. So, without any avaialble date for the report / third reading in the Commons, let alone a second reading in The Lords, we pressed ahead with the meeting, which was addressed by a formidable panel of experts:
At the end of the year, we thought we'd take a little time to reflect and give others the chance to have their say. Our friends at Migrant Voice asked seven of their members from different parts of the world to give their thoughts - on their own stories or on the immigration 'debate' in the UK. They've allowed us to republish the articles here, so we'll start off with Sabir Zazai, who came here from Afghanistan in 1999.
The Immigration Bill has been held up purportedly by an amendment supported by over 60 MPs requiring the restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian workers be extended until 2018.
This is the oddest sort of political posturing we have seen in a long time. This amendment has no place in the Immigration Bill, the Government has no legal power to extend the restrictions, it is treaty bound to lift them after 7 years on 1st January 2014, even if the amendment was added to the Bill and the Government was able to extend the restrictions, by the time the Bill becomes an Act, allowing the provision to be implemented – it hasn’t left the House of Commons yet - 1st January 2014 will have come and gone.
Happy Human Rights Day!
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
If you have caught sight of The Express or Daily Mail recently you will be forgiven for thinking that come the 1st of January 2014 Britain is going to be overrun by unprecedented numbers of Bulgarians and Romanians. Migration Watch has added to the furore by producing 3 sets of estimates claiming approximately 50,000 A2 nationals will arrive a year in the five years after 2013 with its upper prediction being 70,000 a year. Migration Watch’s figures are based on incorrect assumptions and look at trends based on the arrival of Polish migrants rather than those from other Eastern European countries such as Hungary, Slovenia or the Czech Republic where the numbers have been insignificant.
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