Sunday, 13 March 2011

War and the Automatic rights to family reunion

Did you know that mothers seeking asylum are not automatically granted the right to family reunion once they have legal status here?

I did not know that.

A mother who spoke out at the Mothers March event yesterday that she had to leave her three children behind when she fled from war in her country ten years ago. It took her eight years to be granted a legal status to remain here. After that she was told she had no automatic right to have her children join her here. She's fighting for that now but legal aid is being cut, cut for everyone so we have no recourse to anything anymore

Many many mothers are in her situation, wanting to be reunited with their children. There is a petition we signed but I didn't have time to pick up the leaflet to put the link on here.

This mother hasn't seen her children for 10 years. Ten years? Can you imagine? I can't imagine not being allowed to see my son for that long.

She, like others who spoke, experienced racism at her detention centre. It seems our asylum seekers are told by staff that they are only here for the benefits.

You've read right wing press, you've read that insinuation.

She said her country was at war. She said it was not easy to flee with her children so she left hoping for sanctuary somewhere safe. When she's told then, that she's only here for the benefits, she gets angry, because if our (by that I mean my) government didn't sell arms to her country's leaders which they then use to oppress people like her, then she might not be here at all, she might be home with her children.

Libya Libya Libya.... (No, she wasn't from there, there's war going on in many, many countries)

I hope she's joined by her children soon.

I'll be honest with you, I don't often pay attention to any news, good or bad, about asylum seekers or immigrants and thinking about it now, it's possibly because I am in competition with them, for housing.

They are entitled to housing, they are entitled to have their children with them.

They are entitled to have their children with them and live somewhere safe.

We need more housing and we need it urgently

We can't abolish legal aid

What a mess. What a flipping mess....

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