It’s Here: IT’S OUR DAY, International Migrants Day, TODAY!

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TO MARK OUR DAY, WE ARE LAUNCHING MIGRANTS’ LIVES AND HOPES, A CALL FOR SCOTLAND’S MIGRANTS AND THOSE AFFECTED BY UK IMMIGRATION POLICY TO COME FORWARD WITH THEIR REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES OF THE HOME OFFICE’S RULES.

WE WANT YOUR HELP IN BUILDING A CASE PORTFOLIO TO CHALLENGE THOSE RULES! 

Changes implemented since 9 July by the UK Home Office and the UK Border Agency in family migration policy have serious implications for minority ethnic communities, from new arrivals to those who are long-term British citizens. However, the changes now have the potential to affect anyone who has a connection with the world outside the European Community area.

These changes are negatively affecting a broad spectrum of people in intimate ways – from the young and elderly, to families and individuals, to students and businessmen, people from all walks of life are already feeling the impact. There are lives that have been indiscriminately altered, such as Yana and John’s, who have been subjected to impossible conditions that will separate Yana’s widowed mother from the family and stop her seeing her grandchildren.

Last Thursday, a young Scottish commis chef William and his wife Noriko had their first baby, just in time for Christmas but just in time for an uncertain life. Noriko will be unable to remain in Scotland after April as the UKBA rule changes have enforced sudden and harsh conditions on their family. William’s salary does not reach the required minimum of £18,600. Besides, their savings as a young couple are far from the £16,000 needed to legitimate a new spousal visa application. Their private and family life now faces an impossible conundrum: how to secure the best life chances for parents and baby.

There is growing action across Scotland and the UK to challenge the Government on these new immigration rules that attack key human rights, crucially the Right to Private and Family Life.

Migrants’ Rights Scotland is playing its part by building a portfolio of cases to present to the Westminster Parliament early in 2013 as part of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Migration inquiry and to gain legal support for setting up a challenge in the courts.

“The family immigration rules changes are indiscriminately affecting lives of young and old alike,” says Pat Elsmie, Director of Migrants’ Rights Scotland. “We want to make sure migrants’ voices and stories get heard at the Inquiry.”

“Some fundamental human rights are being sacrificed by Westminster politicians. It is crucial that they are held to account for the negative fallout of these ill-considered policies.”

Currently available cases will be presented in a portfolio of Migrants’ Lives and Hopes tomorrow at the Scottish Parliament where Migrants’ Rights Scotland has arranged an event with the sponsorship of Christina McKelvie MSP. It will celebrate International Migrants Day, December 18 and Humza Yousaf MSP and Minister for External Affairs and International Development will also attend.

Over 60 migrants, civil society groups, academics and professionals will join MSPs in recognising the contributions of migrant people in Scotland. The event will also bring attention to the impact of immigration policy here as migrants and their families will present their case stories.

People across Scotland are invited to come forward with their personal immigration experiences to include in the portfolio. They can send them to info@migrantsrightsscotland.org.uk or call 07825758559.