This week, the two year anniversary of the rules, saw dedicated campaigning action and new political commitments.
This week, the campaign for fairer family migration rules continued to demonstrate growing momentum and support for a rule change. On Wednesday a series of campaign and policy events to mark the two year anniversary saw parliament packed out with families and campaigners, and brought valuable allies to the table.
The day began with an APPG on Migration meeting, attended by over 100 people, including affected families, thinktanks and parliamentarians from across the political parties. APPG on Migration is still leading the way on championing the cause in Parliament and building on the good work it has done through the family migration inquiry. The meeting was chaired by Paul Blomfield MP and addressed by Conservative MP Andrew Percy, Katy Clark MP (Labour) and Lord Robin Teverson (Liberal Democrat), as well as conservative thinktank director Ryan Shorthouse (Bright Blue) and JCWI's Saira Grant. The meeting saw compelling arguments for rethinking the family migration rules put forward by all sides, most thoughtfully from Bright Blue director Ryan Shorthouse. He offered up his views on why the current rules are simply incompatible with core Conservative values. Over the coming months we hope that these alternative critiques of the rules will be able to reach new audiences and build support for a change in the rules.
An impassioned public demonstration outside the Home Office on Wednesday lunchtime was followed by another packed out meeting in parliament focusing on the Adult Dependent Relative (ADR) rules. This follows an excellent piece of research by the organisations which can be downloaded here. The meeting was addressed by Sarah Teather MP and shadow immigration minister David Hanson MP and strongly highlighted the devastating impact of the ADR rules on wider family networks.
At the meeting, David Hanson confirmed that, if elected next year Labour will immediately launch a full review of the family migration rules (both the spouse rules and the adult dependent relative rules). This is a significant development, as means that both parties of the left and centre left have now publicly recognised that this is an area where reforms may be needed. However, this still leaves us a long way from the concrete changes that families are desperate to see. Campaigners will need to keep up the fight, and build on the progress made to make sure that an end to these rules materialises.