Home Office: Give Albert Thompson the right to cancer care
** Campaign success! Albert has now been granted treatment. For more info, please check the update below and keep posted on developments on https://mobile.twitter.com/quiline I am confirming how I'm going to spend the money raised for his treatment as soon as possible with all relevant parties. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to everyone that has supported this campaign. WE DID IT!** #ActionforAlbert Albert Thompson*, 63 years old, has lived in London for 44 years. He has prostate cancer. After major surgery, he arrived for his first radiotherapy session to be taken aside and told that unless he can prove he is legally entitled to live in the UK he will have to pay the full £54,000 for his treatment upfront. For 3 decades, Albert has paid taxes to the British Government. He arrived from Jamaica as a teenager. He has no money and he needs our help. That’s why I’m calling for the Home Office to deal with Albert’s status in the UK so his treatment can be approved right away. Cancer doesn’t wait. Having been a primary carer for loved ones who have had cancer, I know that it is expensive, frightening and depressing. People who do not have a lot of savings or support from elsewhere struggle massively financially, and Albert has been unable to work for some years now due to cancer so has nothing. Even with appropriate support, cancer is a lonely and terrifying journey. I can't imagine the despair that this man must be feeling right now. This is part of a much wider issue too, of people who originally came from Commonwealth countries now not being recognised as legal citizens - despite living in our country for many, many years and contributing in the same way we do. Let's stand up for their rights - and stand up to the increasingly harsh landscape that the Home Office is creating for innocent people that are relying on their country's support at the hardest times in their lives. Please sign and share this petition. *Not his real name Original Guardian article: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/mar/10/denied-free-nhs-cancer-care-left-die-home-office-commonwealth
Help Jennifer stay in the UK with her family and continue doing valuable research
Dr Jennifer Wexler has worked at the British Museum as a Bronze Age archaeologist for four years and is married to my colleague Dr Sam Nixon. He excavates on some of the most exciting sites in Africa. The Home Office have said Jennifer must leave the UK and I’m calling for her to be allowed to stay. Jennifer is originally from the USA and the Home Office say that her application to remain has been rejected because she has spent too much time abroad. This time though was principally for her archaeological research, which was approved by the Home Office via a series of highly-skilled visas. By leaving, she would be separated from her husband of 3 years. The Home Office suggest that he also leaves the country with her, even though Sam is a British citizen, with no work permit for the US. The UK has been Jennifer’s home for over 11 years. Not only has her Indefinite Leave to Remain been rejected but so has her appeal. Her lawyer said she was “bewildered” by the Home Office’s refusal. And Jeremy Corbyn is also supporting Jennifer’s case by writing to the Home Office, saying the decision puts UK’s research reputation at risk. He said: “Dr Wexler is an obvious asset to the UK due to her expertise and education” and “This is far from a one-off case: there are many academics who have to travel overseas to properly conduct their research and the Home Office should be more flexible.” Archaeologists around the world are shocked and appalled that Jennifer and Sam are both being asked to leave the UK. We would end up losing two highly valuable members of the UK research and academic community, who contribute to UK society in entirely positive ways. Please sign and share this petition, so that the Home Office can see how many people consider Jennifer, and her British husband Sam, valued members of the United Kingdom and help keep them in the UK. Thank you! #KeepJenniferinUK Guardian article on Jennifer’s case: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/03/corbyn-visa-policy-puts-uks-global-reputation-research-risk BBC London News coverage: https://youtu.be/D39kL5ZaSRw
Ailing 92 year old Facing Forced Removal From UK
Myrtle Cothill is a frail 92-year-old South African lady. She is at risk of being removed by the Home Office to a country where she has nobody to look after her and nowhere to stay. Myrtle has been living with Mary Wills, her British 66-year-old daughter who is also a qualified carer, since her arrival in the UK in February 2014. I am Myrtle's barrister and I have launched this petition on behalf of her to call on the Home Office to grant Mrytle leave to remain in the UK. Suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and macular degeneration causing sight loss, Myrtle cannot walk unaided, has a chronic cough, poor vision, is hard of hearing and is experiencing increasing confusion. She is unable to care or cook for herself and relies on her daughter Mary for emotional and physical support: Mary helps her mother with her personal care, housework, cooking and shopping. Mary and her 61year old British husband David, cannot move to South Africa to look after her mother there as they have no right to live in South Africa. David is also ill and unable to travel, suffering from Parkinson’s disease and COPD which severely affects his mobility and breathing. Both David’s and Myrtle’s medical conditions are degenerative and likely to deteriorate further in the future. Like any good daughter and wife, Mary deeply loves her husband and her mother and just wants to take care of them. However, the Home Office has refused Myrtle leave to remain in the UK and is expecting the 92-year-old to return to South Africa on her own. This would rip the family apart and leave them broken-hearted. The Courts have felt unable to overturn the Home Office decision, relying the stringent nature of the current Immigration Rules on adult dependent relatives (see below for detail). “My mother just cannot live on her own,” says Mary, “and emotionally, to her as well as for myself, it would really tear strips out of our heart and probably would kill my mother (and maybe myself as well).” The present immigration rule on adult dependant relatives introduced in 2012 makes it almost impossible for British citizens to bring their elderly parents to live with them in the UK in their declining years. Those like Mary who want to help and do the right thing have to deal with the wedge this immigration rule drives between them. It breaks up families like Myrtle’s, Mary’s and David’s, leads to unspeakable heartache and undermines the very essence of family values. We call on the Home Office and the Government to: 1) Grant Myrtle Cothill leave to remain in the UK to live out what days she has left under the care of her daughter; 2) Reverse the amendment of the immigration rule on adult dependant relatives which came into force in July 2012 radically changing the previous rule (which was in place for over 40yrs) which allowed British nationals and other settled persons (i.e. persons with indefinite leave to remain) to be joined by their parents/grandparents aged over 65yrs if they could be accommodated and financially supported by their children/grandchildren without reliance on the public purse. 3) Reinstate the previous immigration rule on family reunion to enable others like Myrtle to be granted leave to remain in the UK. Footnote  The new immigration rule only allows British citizens, and other (non-EU) settled persons, to be joined by relatives where the long-term care they require is either not available or not affordable in their country of residence, but privately payable by them in the UK – this means that the only family members who will be allowed to join their families in the UK will be those who live in countries where medical care is more expensive than in the UK or entirely non-existent.
Don't disrupt our family life by removing my husband & the father of my daughter
My name is Anna, the picture above shows my husband Makara and our two year old baby Soma.The Home Office has just rejected my husband’s application for a leave to remain and work in the UK visa, stating “In regards to the care of your child you have provided no compelling evidence that her welfare in the UK could not be maintained to a sufficient level in the absence of your partner.” I would like to argue that the human right to family life - which we based our application on - is not just about maintaining our daughter's physical welfare to a 'sufficient' level. As a mother and UK citizen, I have the human right to give her the best possible upbringing. She will only experience one childhood; by putting her in full time childcare at the age of two and allowing her to go through the emotional upheaval of suddenly losing her father, and losing the potential to grow up with the loving care of both parents is more than a significant disruption. My husband and I have been together for eight years, we married five years ago in the UK and our daughter was born here. I believe I have every right to continue giving my daughter the upbringing that my husband and I want for her.I am enrolled on a School Centred Initial Teacher Training program, which starts in September. I am currently half way through a 24 week online pre-teaching course, in preparation for becoming a secondary school English teacher. I need to study online for 2-3 hours per day on top of working full-time as an Special Educational Needs teacher. I’m not sure without my husband’s support with childcare that I will be able to continue becoming an English Teacher. The Home Office states in our rejection letter that, 'It is deemed that any additional support you require could be sought from your partner's mother, father, siblings or social services team'. We completely refute this statement, in fact I am personally appalled by it. Like any successful partnership or marriage, I rely on my husband not just for 'childcare' but as an equal sharer of all aspects of home and family life, and most importantly as emotional support throughout the ups and downs of everyday life including the upbringing of a child. His role as father of our daughter cannot just be filled by a random person. I thought it was absurd the Home Office would suggest that I turn to an already struggling social care system to take on the upbringing of our child rather than having the support of my husband! I don’t believe it is in the public interest to separate myself and my daughter from my loving husband and her loving father. My husband wants nothing more than to work, pay taxes, be a loving and present father of his child and contribute positively to our local area. Public pressure has convinced the Home Office to change their minds before. Please help our family stay together by signing this petition.
Stop risking lives: bring in crucial fire safety regs now; make the UK's tower blocks safe
As someone who lives on one of London's many estates, I recognise those who died in Grenfell as extended neighbours. I happen to work right next to Grenfell, and was haunted by the burnt out tower this morning on my way to a meeting. We cannot let this happen again. And yet, this is not the first time. A tragic fire at Lakanal House, Camberwell, on 3rd July 2009 cost us six lives. An inquest was held and its findings given in 2013, but only to a limited few, who have sat on the results all this time. Following the critical findings of the coroner's 2013 report on the earlier Lakanal fire, which highlighted issues that could have prevented Grenfell, we are asking for the immediate implementation of recommendations from that report. Some recommendations from the report's coroner include: use of fire resistant materials regular fire assessments providing residents with full instructions about what to do in the event of a fire At Lakanal, exterior panels that were not fire resistant were found to have caused the blaze to spread far quicker. It is becoming apparent that a similar issue may have caused the Grenfell tragedy. I will never forget the image of that hollowed-out building, now a skeleton on the skyline. Or the wreckage in the nearby children's play area, which I had passed so many times before. Grenfell is a place like so many across London, full of our neighbours, friends and families. We must demand more of the authorities, to protect us, and not let other people's interests, and financial considerations, cost lives.
Get Grenfell Tower victim's parents to the UK
After the horrific inferno fire that engulfed the residents of Grenfell Tower Mohammad Alhajali passed away by choking to death from the smoke. I have started this petition on behalf of Omar Alhajali as I am their family friend and would like to reunite them with their family. Mohammed al-Haj Ali was trapped inside London flat for two hours after being separated from his brother during the inferno. His brother Omar was taken to hospital after escaping and remained in contact with Mohammed, who was still trapped inside the flat. "The smoke is getting in, the smoke is getting in, we are going to die, we are going to die," were Mohammed's last words to his brother. Friends who were close to Mohammed told Middle East Eye that he was in contact with them till 5am. Before dying, Ali asked his friends to tell his family in Damascus that he loves them. After leaving Syria, he had not seen his family for five years and was forced to limit communication to ensure their safety amid the crackdown against the opposition. His parents are currently applying for an emergency visa to visit Omar their son in hospital and attend their son Mohammad's funeral. We need to get their voices heard to the Home Office so that we can persuade an acceptance of the visa. Please help us collect as many signatures as possible to get them to the UK
Save my family being torn apart from deportation
The UK has been our home for almost 14 years. It’s where we’ve lived, worked, studied and laid down our roots. But now we are being threatened by a deportation that could tear our whole family apart. I live with my parents and two younger sisters in Edinburgh. My parents and I are citizens of Trinidad and Tobago whilst my two sisters are American. This means that if we are deported, my sisters would be separated from my parents and me. They could be sent to the U.S. where we have no home, no friends and no relatives. Splitting the family apart would be heartbreaking, traumatic and inhumane. My sister and I are currently in the process of completing a degree whilst my youngest sister is in her last year of secondary school. If we are made to leave the UK, we won’t be able to finish the education that we have worked so hard for. We’ve been living here legally on visas for 14 years, but it’s becoming increasingly expensive and we simply can’t afford the fees. It now costs around £7,000 for the whole family, which must be paid every two and a half years when the visas need to be renewed. Due to our visa status the family has not been able to keep permanent jobs, which has put us in a difficult financial situation and meant we simply cannot afford to pay the visa fees this time around. My sisters and I have spent more than half of our lives in the UK, yet we feel like we’re being treating as illegal immigrants by the Home Office, after we were summoned to go to a police station this month. It has left us feeling worried and insecure about our futures. We have applied to have our fees waived but the Home Office has rejected our application. Please sign this petition so that my family and I can stay together in the UK.
URGENT: Stop Deportation of Reza Maghsoudi (age 27)
Reza is a shy young man, who at the age of Thirteen (13) escaped the War in Afghanistan, trekked across Iran, Turkey and through Europe to England; where he arrived alone and with nothing but a handful of photographs. He’s built a life here but has been forced into a detention centre and could be deported to Afghanistan at any time. I have come to know Reza through the wide circle of friends he has built in Salisbury who were distressed at his treatment and his threatened deportation. Reza was born in 1990 in Afghanistan, close to the border with Iran. His family were of the Hazara ethnic group - a group that has been systematically oppressed and massacred by the Taliban. From this place of persecution and murder Reza escaped alone for the hope of freedom and life in England. Despite having no family to return to in Afghanistan, and despite having been in the UK since he was a child, and despite being a Hazara Shia Muslim at risk of murder by the Taliban, he has been refused asylum, been placed in detention and could be deported without your help! Now 27 years old, he has friends in England. He went to college, in Croydon, studying Mathematics and English, and was apprenticing voluntarily as a Tailor in Salisbury (Wiltshire) at no cost burden to the state, before he was arrested at a scheduled case meeting for deportation. I met with him in Tinsley House (Immigration Removal Centre), and had a really good conversation and took him some personal items; including some books by American author George R. R. Martin, which he had been reading. Please sign this petition to change the decision to deport Reza and have him granted asylum. Reza’s Case ID: 014978534
Grant this visa to save a mum’s life
This is Shirley Kordie. She’s 33-years-old and mum to her four-year-old son, Blessing. For the last seven years, she’s been living with hypoplastic MDS – a very rare form of blood cancer. Now, time is running out and her doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham have said she urgently needs a stem cell transplant to survive. Shirley’s brother Joseph, who works as a nurse in Ghana, is a perfect 10/10 match and ready to donate his stem cells to try and save Shirley’s life. However, the Home Office has refused his visa application to come over to the UK to donate. The reason given is that he doesn’t earn enough money. The refusal letter from UK Visas and Immigration stated: “While I am aware of the importance of family contact and the compassionate nature of your application, I must, however, also consider your personal and financial circumstances in Ghana when addressing your application.” Blood cancer charities Anthony Nolan and the African-Caribbean Leukaemia Trust are working together to support Shirley’s case and help get this decision overturned. As someone who works for Anthony Nolan I know how vital it is for patients to have speedy access to the best possible donor. Every day of delay leaves Shirley more and more vulnerable. She’s entirely reliant on blood transfusions to reduce her life-threatening anaemia and her reduced white blood cells put her at high risk of infection. Shirley desperately wants to be well again so she can return to work and go back to her home in Walsall, near Birmingham, to be there to support her son. “My life is in danger - I need to get my life back for my son. I have my little boy, and I want to live for him.” There are no other options for a donor on the international stem cell registers, and no way for Joseph to donate in Ghana. Shirley’s best chance of survival is for her brother to be allowed to come to the UK and donate. Please sign this petition and ask the Home Office to grant Joseph’s visa so he can make a lifesaving donation to Shirley, here in the UK.
Home Office unfairly deporting talented academics
Dr. Ernesto Schwartz-Marin and Dr. Arely Cruz-Santiago, both talented academics at Durham University and a married couple from Mexico on March 10th were asked to leave the UK within 14 days due to time spent abroad despite this being their home since 2007. Though the Home Office has now put a temporary stop on deportation proceedings to 'try to find a way forward for them to stay in the UK', their original reasons for deportation of the couple were unfair because the time Ernesto and Arely spent abroad was because of humanitarian fieldwork as part of their research in Mexico. As a close friend of the couple, I am calling on the Home Office to continue to re-consider the decision to deport them. Under the Home Office guidelines (art 266) the time abroad can be waived for ‘attending to a national or international humanitarian or environmental crisis.’ From July 2014 to July 2015, Ernesto and Arely spent 270 days working in Mexico where they pioneered a project called Citizen-Led Forensics. This involved training and helping communities build a DNA database for Mexican families whose loved ones had disappeared due to gang related and/or drug violence, thus fulfilling an important role in an increasingly desperate humanitarian crisis. However, the Home Office does not see it as such, and they have issued Ernesto and Arely with a deportation letter. Arely has just finished her PhD and is embarking on a promising academic career. Ernesto is a young and very successful researcher who has been awarded more than £1,000,000 in UK research grants, including the ESRC transformative (2014-2016) and Newton Fund (2016-2019). The work he does in collaboration with Arely and other UK and international scholars addresses social and political aspects of the disappeared in Mexican communities, issues that are left unaddressed by the authorities in the complex and corrupt political landscape in Mexico. Ernesto and Arely’s work has been featured on the BBC, the Deutsche Welle, and Al Jazeera news. They also worked with the BBC in developing a two-part episode of the BBC drama Silent Witness series finale ‘The Awakening’ in 2017 (inspired by their research). Their work is an asset to the UK. They now face the prospect of abruptly leaving their current academic posts and tearing their 11-year-old daughter away from the life she knows. Their case is very distressing on a personal level, but it also sets a dangerous precedent for other non-UK academics working in universities and doing humanitarian fieldwork abroad. We are therefore calling for the Home Office to continue to re-consider the decision to deport these two talented academics and their daughter. Please sign this petition to fight for justice for Ernesto and Arely as well as for other non-UK academics doing humanitarian or any other academic fieldwork abroad. Below are some examples of the couple’s opinion editorials and public engagement materials: audio-visuals, animations and written pieces 2014 Schwartz-Marin, E., & Cruz-Santiago, A (2014) How citizens lead the search for Mexico's disappeared. Al Jazeera, World News, 20th of November, available at: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/11/how-citizens-lead-search-mexi-20141120143451575931.html (Opinion Editorial) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj2JS5kamQk&feature=youtu.be https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2014/11/how-citizens-lead-search-mexi-20141120143451575931.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljQvB14nISg 2015 ‘Promise’: a song for the disappeared at: http://cienciaforenseciudadana.org/escucha-la-cancion-promesa/ Mexican Forensics, Al Jazeera (10 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVF4Vr0PRoc&feature=youtu.be http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02g5sx 2015 Didactic Materials on how to take a DNA sample and engage in Citizen-Led Forensics: www.cienciaforenseciudadana.org (website in Spanish)