June 10, 2009

Remove the July 1, 2006 Cut-Off Date

Discrimination

When the BNA 1981 came into force, it made many changes to nationality and British citizenship. After 1983, a child could only derive their citizenship through at least one British parent. This excluded many children, especially those born to British fathers who didn't marry their mums.

The Nationality, Immigration, Asylum Act of 2002 sought to correct the current discrimination against unmarried British fathers passing on their citizenship to their illegitimate children. However, four years after the bill reached royal assent, the government chose instead to continue the discrimination and institute a cut off date of July 1, 2006. Only children born after this date could derive citizenship from their unmarried British father.

This date was for reasons of any possible problems with nationality conflicts. However, at the same time, they were allowing children of British mothers to register their births without problems.


Amendment 47: Legitimacy
(click link for verbiage)

Lord Avebury and Lord Roberts kindly added this amendment onto the current Borders, Citizenship, and Immigration bill. It was to remove the cut-off date, parallel to children born to British mothers, and allow a path to registration for British citizenship for illegitimate children of British fathers. However, it was withdrawn by the government during the Lord's stage.

It should be noted that the amendment to remove the cut-off date for children born to British mothers has passed and is now in the House of Commons.


The Government Says This Will Create Nationality Conflicts


That is simple. By allowing either registration, leave to remain, or a non-commonwealth ancestry visa, each of these paths insure that a person does not "wake up" one day to discover that another country's citizenship has been automatically conferred upon them. Registration confirms to the home office that you now want the option to obtain citizenship. Those who don't want it simply do not have to make any requests.

Registration is already successfully in place for children born to British mothers before 1983.

What can I do?

For starters, you can contact your MP. This assures them that you mean business. You vote and their careers hang in the balance because of it. Demand that they work to reinstate Amendment 47: Legitimacy back onto the Borders, Citizenship, and Immigration Bill. Demand the end to cut-off dates so that all children, regardless of the year they were born, can have a path to British citizenship through their unmarried fathers.

Demand an end to such blatant nationality discrimination.

Do not let them continue to create barriers for one group while allowing another group in the same situation carte blanche into Britain. Children of British mothers and children of married British fathers can be registered without affecting their current citizenship. It should be the exact same opportunity for children of unmarried British fathers.

We are not strangers showing up at the UK border demanding entry. We are not individuals with a loose relationship with Britain. We are the children of British fathers and we are being left out of the right to citizenship while all other children of British parents have complete rights and unrestricted access to the country.

End discrimination now!