Campaigns Keeping Families Together 1. Why take action? When a tree is planted, it puts down roots in its new home. It gives life to its new surroundings, and is able to flourish and grow. All our families deserve the right to do the same. But current rules mean thousands of families are separated, just because of what they earn. By coming together with local families, community groups and politicians to plant a Family Tree in your area, you can show that it’s time these rules were changed, and all families were given the right to blossom. If a British person or somebody settled here earns less than a certain amount per year and happens to fall in love with somebody from outside the EU, they won’t be able to build a life here with their partner. This rule, called the Minimum Income Requirement, is keeping husbands from wives, parents from children, grandparents from grandchildren. We believe it’s time for change – and if you’re reading this, so do you! We know that people throughout the country are outraged about these unfair rules, which are causing untold suffering and keeping families apart. The Family Trees project is a chance for communities to stand up and be counted, and show that it’s time for change. Ultimately, it’s up to politicians to change these rules – with the stroke of a pen, MPs could put an end to a system that means over 15,000 children are getting to know their mum or dad over Skype, because their other parent doesn’t earn enough for the family to be together in the UK. But they’ll only do it if we take action now, and show them that people up and down the country believe these rules are wrong. We want to live in a country where everyone can love who they choose – not a country where over 40% of us don’t earn enough to build a life with our partner of choice. We want to live in a country where all kinds of families are valued and supported – not a country where some children are denied the chance to grow up with their loving parents, just because of the family’s income. We want to live in a country where everyone has equal opportunities – not a country whose laws actively discriminate against women, people of colour and workers in certain regions, by telling them they don’t earn enough to be with the person they love. By coming together with others in your local area to plant a Family Tree, you can be part of demanding that positive change, and help to build the network of people who want to see families together, where they belong.