- The Rt Hon Theresa May MPHome Secretary
Theresa May: New UK immigration laws are tearing families apart. Change them now.
What would you do if you were told that the person you love is a threat to society, simply because you don’t have enough money in your bank account? Imagine being told that someone from the European Union has more rights to a family life in England than British born residents. How could you live with the knowledge that if you ever face redundancy, you will also have to stand by and watch as your soul mate is taken away from you? Think about what it’s like to plan not to start a family for half a decade, because you don’t want to risk your children living in a single parent family in the future. Heinously discriminative and regressive new laws are doing all this, and more, right now. Across Britain, both now and in the future, couples are being made to fight for their fundamental right to have a family.
Please reconsider your prohibitive immigration laws.
In attempting to tackle illegitimate immigration, these laws have targeted, and heavily penalised, the only people who should be entitled to live in the UK with whoever they choose and with no undue restriction: British citizens, and their legal non EU spouses. The amendments to the immigration law have now forced many people to choose between either a life lived away from the UK, or a painful separation from loved ones for a long period of time, sometimes even forever.
By asking for financial proof of love, UK citizens are being forced to obtain, and hold down, a job that is £6000 over minimum wage for 5 years, to keep their spouse or dependent relative in the country until they have Indefinite Leave to Remain. This, in a world where the economy is shattered and bruised, and jobs are already being fervently fought over. Once in the country, the family member has almost all rights to any government money taken away anyway, meaning that the supposed ‘threat’ that they pose is actually non-existent.
Honest, hardworking citizens are being made to feel like criminals simply for falling in love with a non EU member. Good people are working 50 hour weeks just to scrape enough money together to meet the target.
For people who have the right amount of money, there are many more hurdles to jump over before happiness; including an extremely difficult language test which is far easier to pass if you work, or study, in an English environment.
When the application is in, thousand of couples, waiting on tenterhooks, are subsequently being subjected to the emotional and financial trauma of a visa rejection, if they have been unable to sufficiently prove that they meet all the criteria.
The laws are inexcusably exiling British children and encouraging single parent families. They have also made it nigh on impossible for adults with elderly dependent relatives to bring lonely parents into the country, to live out the rest of their days surrounded by loving family. They are breaking up the homes of people whose forefathers fought to defend British soil for their successors, whilst all the while, under the European Parliament and Council Directive, EEA members can continue to bring anyone they like to live in the country, without so much as a second thought. Why can't we have the same rights as other EU citizens, in our own country?
These new laws are tearing homes and families apart and causing undue stress to thousands of British citizens in and outside of the UK. These are radical and racist movements from a government that supposedly supports the institution of marriage and family life. They have mercilessly slaughtered and stomped all over human rights and have taken no account of simple human decency. We British citizens can no longer stand by and wait for our lives with the people we love to begin.
We want to have families, and have freedom of passage between both partner’s countries, so that our parents can enjoy their grandchildren and we can give our offspring the wonderfully diverse upbringing that they deserve.
We don’t want to desert Britain, or send our money out of the country to dependent relatives, but this policy is forcing us to. What else can we do? By taking the easy option to fill government statistics tables and, as usual, targeting the middle classes, the Home Office is driving away native workforces and turning people against their own country. Our needs have been pushed to the bottom of the pile, under the rights of others in the EEA, and those who have enough money to marry whoever they choose.
This MUST stop. Not everyone who wants to come into the UK is benefit-hungry. Money should not have to buy your happiness, and no one wants this kind of sadistic regulation. Prisoners at Her Majesty’s Pleasure are not treated with such inhumanity.
We want the Conservative Government to come to their senses and revise their new policies, allowing spouses and dependent relatives outside of the EU to be reunited with their families in the UK, and giving cross- border partners a fair chance at starting life in their home country, like any other happily married couple.
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