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Refugee family reunion

Volume 671: debated on Tuesday 11 February 2020

Glasgow University’s Student Action for Refugees recently hosted the Museum Without A Home exhibition, displaying everyday objects in solidarity with migrants and refugees around the world. At the same time, it collected more than 600 signatures for the Families Together petition, calling for refugee children to have the right to be reunited with their parents in their home. A smaller number have signed the petition that I am now presenting in the House of Commons style, which makes the same demand.

The petition states:

The petition of residents of Glasgow North,

Declares that under current family reunion rules adult refugees can only sponsor their partners and children under 18 years old to join them in the UK; further that child refugees in the UK have no family reunion rights so they can’t bring their parents to join them; further that the lack of opportunities for refugees to reunite with family members forces people to turn to smugglers and exacerbates the humanitarian crises in Southern Europe; and further that, for refugees already living safely in the UK, the enforced separation from their families and constant anxiety about their wellbeing can be devastating, preventing them from rebuilding their lives and undermining their successful integration into their new communities. The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to expand the criteria of who qualifies as a family member for the purposes of refugee family reunion, including by allowing adult refugees in the UK to sponsor their adult children, their siblings that are under the age of 25, and their parents; further to give unaccompanied refugee children in the UK the right to sponsor their parents and siblings that are under the age of 25 to join them under the refugee family reunion rules; and further to reintroduce legal aid for refugee family reunion cases.

And the petitioners remain, etc.