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Support gathers for Haywards Heath dad facing deportation back to Australia
Messages of support continue to stream in backing The Argus’ Don’t Deport Our Daddy campaign.
The Argus launched the campaign last week after father-of-three Phil Sommerville was told he would be deported back to Australia.
This is despite his wife of 11 years and their three children living in the UK.
Sadly, the campaign has also highlighted more families who are facing an equally bleak and uncertain future.
On Tuesday, hundreds of campaigners – including Phil’s wife Isabel and their son Cooper – gathered outside the Home Office in London for a Divided Families Day of Action campaign.
The campaign, organised by the Migrants Rights Network, finished with a meeting in the House of Commons.
Fawzia Whittuck, of Hartfield Road, Seaford, spoke at the meeting about her British son and his Japanese wife of four years who are currently unable to move to the UK due to new migration rules.
Steve Cuthbert, 34, an English teacher, and his wife Yoko, 35, an auditor for an international bank, applied for a visa to allow them to return to theUKin November 2012.
But when the couple – who have a one-year-old daughter Rika – were unable to provide six months worth of payslips to prove they met the £22,400 income threshold required to obtain a visa, their application had to be put on hold.
They will now have to reapply in November once Yoko has been working again for six months.
Mrs Whittuck said: “I’m hurt, upset and very worried that he could become exiled from his own home country. “It is my son’s fundamental right to live here with his family and I am shocked that the current government could do this to their own British citizens.
“It actually violates their human rights.
“It breaks my heart how much everyone is hurting because of these ill-thought out rules.”
Mrs Sommerville said the meeting had not left her feeling hopeful for her family’s future.
She said: “If they apply that minimal salary to mine and Phil’s application he’s gone.
“I juggle four part-time jobs and would never make that kind of money – it is ridiculous.”Argus backing family’s fight The Argus is backing the Sommervilles’ fight to be kept together.
Don’t Deport Daddy will support the family in their battle to keep Phil in the UK.
The Argus believes it is cruel and quite plainly wrong to split up a loving father from his wife and children.
We are calling on common sense to prevail and for the Home Office to reassess the family’s situation.
We are backing the calls of Cooper, 12, Jasmin, 8, and Charlee, 6: “Don’t Deport Daddy.”
Email us with your messages of support at email@example.com
Messages of support
I wanted to send a message of support for the Sommerville Family. I was with Izzy the night that she met Phil in Aus! I was backpacking and working in Australia at the time. As you are well aware they have been married for over ten years and have three lovely children. The situation they find themselves in is very difficult to understand given everything we know to be true about their circumstances. Phil not being able to work on top of everything else has placed an enormous financial strain on the family. I hope that Immigration Officials make the right decision to keep this family together, for them and their extended family. Carol Taylor
I am contacting you to pledge my support to the Sommerville family. I work with Izzy and you couldn’t meet a nicer family. They have been put under the most extreme stress and have tried from day one to co-operate with the system and provide everything to ensure that they can stay together as a family in the UK. They have faced a daily battle and still have to carry on for the sake of their three children while dealing with a very sick family member. It is ridiculous that this situation has not been resolved sooner. What a waste of time, money and human compassion. Sara, Conrad, Jake, Emma and Joel Logan
I have just read your article about the Somerville family. I am all in favour of the new rule in the immigration battle – make sure that all NEW applicants abide by the new ruling. However common sense must prevail, this family has been together for over a decade, they must be a loving family to stay together in this day and age. There is more than just a “spouse and applicant” here, there is a British family, listen to the children. Home Secretary listen to popular opinion for a change, do not deport this man, after all he is from a former “British” colony not an emerging third world country. Use common sense and don’t break up a solid family. M Bevan
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