Top 5 migrant stories of the week 10/2/13

Story of the week: controversial family migration rules are challenged by the high court.
  1. 1) It was a week that saw German immigration jump to the highest levels in over 16 years and the country warn against migrant arrivals from eastern Europe after Germany’s seven year exemption to the EU free movement of labour laws expired.

    Yet, the newest members of the EU have been quick to brush off British fears of an immigration influx when the free movement comes into effect for Romania and Bulgaria in 2014. In response to a rumoured negative British advertising campaign to dissuade eastern European migrants, Romanian newspaper, Gandul, launched a spoof campaign targeted at Britons on Friday: “We may not like Britain, but you will love Romania.”
  2. Indeed, many refuted the anti-immigration remarks made by UK Independence Party leader, Nigel Farage, on BBC’s Question Time on Thursday.
  3. 2) World Bank figures revealed that money transfers from workers abroad to family in their country of origin have tripled in the last decade. The properly termed remittance money totalled £335bn worldwide in 2012, which, if it were a single economy, would be the 22nd largest in the world, and is three times larger than global aid budgets.
  4. This interactive guide lets you select a country and discover the inflows and outflows of remittances.

    3) The impact of money sent home sparked debate about migration and the post-2015 development agenda. Here are some of the main discussions:
  5. The Guardian’s John Vidal was joined by Sylvie Aboa-Bradwell (African Peoples Advocacy), Michael Clemens (Centre for Global Development), Theodora Xenogiani, (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs) and Professor Mariama Awumbila (University of Ghana). In this podcast they looked at the booming scale of migration, with over 215 million people living outside their countries of birth, and asked: what that could mean for developing countries?

    4) The High Court in Birmingham concluded that the family migration rules do not reflect the UK’s obligation to Article 8 – the right to a private, family life – of the European Convention of Human Rights. The case in question concerned a refugee with three jobs and an annual income of £15,600. He is seeking to sponsor his wife to join him in the UK.
  6. The controversial family migration rules, which came into effect 9 July 2012, introduced a £18,600 income threshold for a UK-based sponsor who wishes their non-EEA spouses or partners to join them in Britain. The have been criticised for restricting the privilege of family life to those fortunate enough to earn above-average wages. It is likely that this issue will remain lively as challenges through the UK courts focus on human rights arguments
  7. Family rules introduced by the UK govt. are surreptitiously redefining the meaning of citizenship, argues @nandosigona
  8. An inter-faith meeting of the United Communities of Southampton, that brings together Sikh, Muslim and Christian communities, heard how the family migration rules were keeping families apart in the area.
  9. At the same time the UKBA, with a backlog of an estimated 6,000 applications, has been criticized for keeping Brits and their foreign spouses in limbo.
  10. 5) The government’s restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK actually encourage them to stay in the UK and bring their families according to research by the International Agency for Source Country Information.

    Under current restrictions only highly skilled workers and some agricultural workers can legally work in the UK.


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