Help Jennifer stay in the UK with her family and continue doing valuable research
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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.
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
I urge you to grant Dr Jennifer Wexler indefinite leave to remain in the UK so that she can continue her valuable contribution to UK research. Her absences in the last 10 years were for bona fide archaeological research and approved at the time by the Home Office. Expelling her, and asking her British husband Sam Nixon to leave his own country, is an act of injustice that also sends out a very damaging message about the UK's willingness and capability to attract and retain the best academic minds.
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