Paradise Lost? Help Cambridge librarian bring his wife home!
English Faculty librarian David Rushmer is fighting to be reunited with his wife.
The Senior Library Assistant at the English Faculty Library, is battling with the UK Border Agency to bring his wife home.
48-year-old David Rushmer and his wife, Wang Bang, aged 39, were married in China in June 2013, and have since faced a protracted battle with authorities so that Wang can live in Britain.
After first meeting in June 2012 on a poetry website, the couple moved in together by November of that year. Despite submitting evidence of their relationship, testimonials from family and friends, and receiving coverage in the national press, Wang’s application for a spouse visa at the British embassy in Beijing remains pending.
The UK Border Agency believe that Wang’s sensitive work with human rights advocates proves she is only marrying Rushmer to escape scrutiny from the Chinese government, and have so far refused to review the case. This means the couple have been forcibly separated since July 2013, apart from a brief reunion in Thailand earlier this year.
A change.org petition that the couple started late last year has recently gone viral within the Cambridge community.
Speaking to us via email, Rusher expressed his gratitude saying: “My wife and I are very aware of the recent increase in signatures for our petition, particularly from students, and we wanted to thank them.
“Their support is very much appreciated and many of the comments very touching.
“It is also proof that any intelligent people looking at the evidence provided could see that our relationship is very genuine, and we love each other and have made a commitment to spend the rest of our lives together, and we are asking that these wishes are respected by the government.”
A court date of August 11th has been scheduled for the Rushmers’ case to be heard.
Describing the situation as “utterly Kafkaesque,” Rushmer explained: “The government’s main objection to immigrants is that ‘they are a drain on the benefit system.
“The fact that non-EU immigrants have ‘no recourse to benefits’ clearly stamped on their passports renders this argument completely redundant, and underlines the fact that immigrants are increasingly being used as scapegoats for the current economic problems.”
Describing her thoughts on the issue, the Varsity’s Comment Editor, Isabel Adomakoh-Young, said “Of course it’s important to monitor immigration to an extent, but part of that involves setting up fair and consistent systems, with clear processes.
“Ironically, many of the errors in this case have been bureaucratic ones on the part of agencies like the UKBA, the lawyer and the Home Office – which no-one will be punished for, even though this couple might be permanently separated as a result of them.
“David has always been a lovely presence in the Fac, always willing to lend a hand; which is to his credit, given these awful circumstances.
“As a committee member of Cambridge PEN I’m learning more every day about the dangers that writers who speak out face – Bang’s own documentary work is showing that, and that (alongside their marriage) qualifies her to be protected under Articles 2&3.
“I worry too that the fact she’s had 3 relationships in the UK is counting against her, as some sort of institutional slut-shaming, implying she was just using those men.
“I’m sure that in reality she would be a credit to the UK and I’m glad she’s found love at last – they deserve every support in being reunited.”
Vica Germanova, a first year English student at Churchill said: “I think it’s really heartbreaking, he’s [Rushmer] such a lovely guy and if you read the story you can see that he is being treated completely unfairly given the amount of evidence they’ve brought forward.
“I was wondering why he seemed so down recently and now I’ve read the story it makes perfect sense.”
Aarya Mishra, another English student, added: “It is precisely actions like this taken by the Home Office that cause a negative perception of both immigration policy and the government itself in the UK.
“I’ve signed the petition to the Home Office and hope that David manages to sort out this frustrating and sad circumstance.”