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Teenage Couple Forced Apart By Immigration Rule

Wednesday July 10 2013

Alex Alex

TWO teenagers who fell in love and got engaged are being forced to live thousands of miles apart by the UK's tough new immigration red tape.

Alex Firth, 18, is in Barnsley while sweetheart Jamie Freeman, 19, is in Georgia, USA - but they but can't get permission to live together even though he has written to Home Secretary, Theresa May, asking for help.

The couple met online last year when Alex visited a website to help him learn a foreign language.
He said: "I thought I'd try learning German. Jamie was on there also looking to learn German. We started chatting online and found we had a lot in common."

After a month, the couple realised they had a special bond and in January, Jamie came to visit Alex in Barnsley. It was there that Alex popped the question.

"She liked Barnsley and we felt a lot better together," Alex said. "I took her to Barnsley FC matches - she even went home with a Barnsley scarf on."

The two thought getting a visa for Jamie to move to the UK would be a formality. But the UK government's tough new rules introduced in July 2012 say that a non-European spouse or partner must be sponsored by a person "with a minimum income."

Young couples are at a particular disadvantage because they tend to earn less and with Alex suffering from Asperger's syndrome and a blood pressure condition, it means he can't work to earn enough to support Jamie, as specified by the government.

Alex said: "For me to get a visa for Jamie I have to be earning £18,600. I'll never be able to earn that because of my health and I can't afford to emigrate to the US either."

An inquiry is currently looking at the migration rules and Barnsley MP Dan Jarvis is supporting the case of the young long distance lovers.

The Barnsley Central MP said: "Alex is the victim of a tightening of the rules which penalises him for being a young person. He is fortunate enough to have found someone he wants to be with, who makes a profound difference to his health and quality of life.

"They cannot do the most basic things that a young couple would do - like plan their new life together - because they don't have the kind of income this government thinks is necessary."

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Reply Posted by Anom on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 10:08
Shame really , but it's ok for other nationalities cum into r country take r homes and jobs least these r genuine

Reply Posted by Steve on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 10:12
Putting the immigration rules aside. Is it just me that thinks getting engaged to someone you've only known a month is a little hasty, not to mention moving to another Country. And, at 18 years old, the chances of them actually staying together is slim at best.

I know this sounds cynical but my god. How can you actually truly love someone within a month, and with the majority of their relationship being a cyber one?

If they truly are meant to be together then why rush it? Actually get to know each other properly before making such hasty decisions and slamming the Immigration Rules. It seems the Government can't win. First of all they're being criticized for letting too many people in who are here to genuinely make a life by getting jobs and paying into the system. Now they're being criticized for not letting someone in who just wants to be with her fling.

Come on people...make your minds up!

Reply Posted by julie on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 10:35
spot on IMHO -both with health problems too - yes the lad may feel better for now but how will he cope with the heartache of splitting later down the line - bit hasty getting engaged after amonth but thats what teenagers do isn't it - can't believe the hoohaa this is causing -

Reply Posted by m hall on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 10:18
Im really sorry for the kids. but i dont beleve in immigration at all it is not working in the uk.

Reply Posted by steve8815 on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 10:19
Steve, they may have only been together a month but the thing about aspergers syndrome is that you find it difficult to understand and display emotion amongst other things. This young man had obviously found a part of himself that he never knew he had and this is the reason he was 'hasty' as you put it.

Reply Posted by Charlotte on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 10:28
They are not tough new rules!!! 10 years ago I married an American and we did all the visa paperwork he went back to New York for his visa I had the 2 things the asked for 1) somewhere we could live 2) a job earning my own money.
He rang saying they had refused his visa as I didn't earn enough so we had to fax my parents earnings and prove we would be ok. It was terrifying and we'd been together 2 years before getting married.
All I can say is good luck to the two teens!!!
If its meant to be you will be able to sort something!

Reply Posted by G on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 10:33
Boo hoo my heart bleeds for them. Why on earth should we let someone into this country who can't support themselves, and their partner can't support them so will be an immediate drain on the benefits system. if they'd been in a relationship for a few years then I might have some sympathy. But they've met each other ONCE! I'm sure most people who have relationships when they're young think that they're in love and want to spend the rest of their life with that person, I know I did. In reality you maybe last 3 months or so before realising that at that age you don't actually know the qualities you want in a person, you're still learning. So no, I don't think she should be allowed to come over here based on a sob story.

Reply Posted by Andrew on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 10:40
Myself emigrating from Barnsley to Australia I feel no sympathy. You cannot expect immigration to bend rules, and I'm sure they would have researched before she even booked her flight to come here. I did and found out the expensive long process it would involve. I would have been a fool not to and got here finding out I had to return if the situation was the same. Immigration rules are rules that are there for a reason. And Australia is one of the toughest countries to get in.

Reply Posted by Paulc on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 11:51
So what you're saying is rules do not get bent? I find that very hard to believe with the shower that gets let into the UK......I don't think they just get bent a little, I think the rules get twisted and smashed to pieces! I for one hope things work out for you both......As the saying goes though, "Love will find a way" I trevelled to the other side of the world for love over 5 years ago (With virtually no money and am still at the other side of the world.........It'll work out if it's meant to be.

Reply Posted by mandy azam on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 14:00
I am in the same position myself. I have lived apart from my husband for 2 yrs because they wont allow him a visa. I understand they have to cut back on the numbers coming in but all cases are individual and should be treated that way. I had to come back to this country to look after a my parent. For doing the right thing and saving them from paying for her care. My punishment is to live apart from my husband. Its so unfare.

Reply Posted by jack on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 14:06
too bloody right.we got enough blacks pakis muslims breeding with white people and its time it was put a stop too.

Reply Posted by christ on a bike on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 14:25
get an education you racist little idiot

Reply Posted by k.k.k on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 14:36
barnsley is a racist town,thank god for that,we wouldnt have it any other way.keep the unlon flag flying.

Reply Posted by Fred on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 14:42
Here here @ Christ on a bike

Reply Posted by viki on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 16:25
pffffft speak for self k.k.k. you obviously don't know our town that well n as for the union jack comment its a union as in all races n countries flag dum ass were 4 countries rolled into one. n as for the boy he should work to the best of his abilities and prove himself and not rush if he truly loves her.

Reply Posted by Grim on Wednesday July 10 2013 at 16:31
Enough bloody immigrants in the UK.
No more!

Reply Posted by Real Grim on Tuesday July 16 2013 at 10:23
To Grim you troll I hope you enjoy using someone elses byline. The real Grim is not a bigoted racist or trolling layabout who makes nasty comments. Go get your own name.


Reply Posted by stuart on Saturday July 13 2013 at 17:10
rules are rules at the end of the day ,, we asked for them to stem the constant flow of immigrants and migrants,, lets not complain when they are enforced ,, granted that some may be genuine cases and may be affected by the point of enforcement, but we let one in we let the lot in again

Reply Posted by Dinky on Saturday July 13 2013 at 17:21
I'm sorry but some of these comments are awful and basically sound like your saying that someone with health issues who cannot work is not allowed to fall in love or must date someone from the same country. Well shame on you. We opened up the world and therefore opened ourselves up to falling in love with people from other places. Immigration did not think this through and obviously thought people who have genuine issues as to why they cannot earn the minimum do not exist.
I hope you are both reunited. Xxx

Reply Posted by andy on Saturday July 13 2013 at 17:31
hell, they aint no more room in this cotton picking country.

Reply Posted by Ann on Saturday July 13 2013 at 18:13
What ever happened to civil decency where people looked out for one another and not this I am alright Jack sod you.... I was born and bred here in Barnsley but over the last 10 years I am forever feeling a sense of dissolution in the town folk this was once a place where we looked out for each other and didn't think twice, and now because he's got a disability that makes it so much harder to find a relationship he's branded a fool, I hope with all my heart that if any of you have children that they are born healthy or they can forget help from there parents with this attitude sorry guys but shame on you how many in here can cast the first stone who never made a mistake I for one can't and I bet if your honest none of you can either come on folk remember where your from put the community back in the town.. support the lad no matter what the outcome he has to learn just like the rest of us and stranger things have happened than it working ... just saying....

Reply Posted by Brian on Sunday July 14 2013 at 16:25
We don't have any communities in our town that are not directly affected by immigrants of the eastern European variety.
They want deporting all the bloody lot of them!

Reply Posted by Aghast on Saturday July 13 2013 at 18:26
Some of the comments on here astound me. Bigoted morons that spout racial hatred are the problem, not these kids who may indeed be naive but still have a genuine case for immigration to allow the girl in. You idiots make me sick. It's YOU that are the problem with this country and this town. And I'll bet not one of you holds down a job or does anything apart from scrounging from the rest of us whilst you sit back watching your 50inch TVs merrily breeding like rabbits. You disgust me.

Reply Posted by Bob on Saturday July 13 2013 at 18:30
Notice that anyone in Europe still gets in no questions asked. Polish are flocking here and loads of other Eastern European immigrants too, not to mention the bloody asylum seekers. One American isn't really a big deal. Opening our borders to the eu was the mistake and we are still paying for it now!!!

Reply Posted by Stevo on Tuesday July 16 2013 at 20:31
Bob, I concur.
What the idiots in our town and the UK as a whole fail to realise is the "true" effects of Immigration on our country.

Our infrastructure is at breaking point as it is, and with the impending influx of the Bulgarians and Romanians the situation in our country isn't going to get any better anytime soon.

The real "winners" on immigration are the unscrupulous companies and employment agencies that employ these immigrants at slave labour rate (minimum wage to the layman) and the immigrants themselves that send vast amounts of money back home to their respective countries.
Not to mention the monies that our taxpayers have to stump up to pay for their immigrant children back home.
Nor mentioning the vast amounts of jobs lost to our own countryfolk for the 4 MILLION that have arrived on our shores AND another expected MILLION plus Bulgarians and Romanians.

We are going to pay for immigrants for the next ten generations at least.

Pity the idiotic people refuse to realise the "true" cost of immigration in the UK and will continue to bury their heads in the sand.

On the issue in hand, Jarvis has intervened has he?
Whats it got to do with him anyway?
He should be more interested in getting more companies and jobs into Barnsley instead of sticking his rather large beak into something that should not concern him.

Reply Posted by jen on Saturday July 13 2013 at 18:59
Omg KKK you racist little prick is that what your name is based on a racist clan! Barnsley is not a racist town at all its ppl like u that pull our town down! There's no place anywhere for racist ignorant idiots like you!

Reply Posted by Hoyland Red on Saturday July 13 2013 at 21:01
Fortunately people like Jack and KKK are well and truely in the minority in Barnsley and always will be. A lack of education means that they're extremely narrow minded and easily duped by those that pedal lies - History already has a very sorry to tale to tell about that from only 70 odd years ago but and as much as it pains me to say it there is a freedom of speech in this country that allows these idiots to spout such bile. However, those that are able to think for themselves have the right to shout them down and show them up for the low life that they are.

Reply Posted by C on Saturday July 13 2013 at 21:10
Rules are rules! You can't play on a disability to let someone in from another country im afraid, we asked for tighter immigration controls so and thats whats happening so how can we complain when they do tighten them?I know plenty of disabled people in high paid jobs, if u want it that bad nothing will stop you. I hope things work out for this couple but maybe give it sometime before rushing into anything

Reply Posted by Jimmy on Sunday July 14 2013 at 08:09
Why doesn't the lass pretend to be Polish? She'd get in right away, land a job at ASOS or SASH no problem and have plenty of friends to hang around with.

Reply Posted by Dave Moncrief on Monday July 15 2013 at 13:46
Jimmy, I have read quite a few of your posts and see your beef with immigrants.
Why not write a strongly worded letter to your MP and complain?

Oh hang on I forgot, our Labour MP'S couldn't give a toss and let all the foreigners in in the first place!

There are far too many over here now and in my honest opinion they all need to go back to where they came from.

Reply Posted by bryn on Monday July 15 2013 at 21:17
It seems strange how some narionalities can just walk into our country and use all our benefits but 1 person from the USA our biggest ally is told no?

Reply Posted by jules on Monday July 15 2013 at 21:51
Love at first sight can happen good luck to the young lovers hope your future works out GOOD LUCK

Reply Posted by Me on Monday July 15 2013 at 22:00
Asperges syndrome doesn't stop you from working.... My husband was just telling me this afternoon that the people he works for have just set someone on that has it!