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US Citizen with two disabled British children wrongly threatened with deportation
Laura Cullen remains on Home Office Immigration Bail despite legal ruling that removing her from her children would be breaking UK Law

Published on April 18, 2019

It has been reported that an American woman, living in the UK with her two disabled children and her British husband, has been wrongly threatened with deportation by the UK's Home Office.

As Reported by The Independent, Laura Cullen, 31, "was returning from a holiday in the US last October when she was told by Border Force officials that she would be removed from the country, which would have meant her children – aged eight and nine and both of whom suffer from learning disabilities – would have to have been taken into care."

The report explains that the order to remove Ms Cullen from the UK was halted by a High Court judge, and Ms Cullen's entitlement to remain in the UK was confirmed in January. However, the report goes on to note that despite confirmation of her living status in the UK, the Home Office "is still holding her on immigration bail, meaning they have retained her passport and she is liable to be detained at any time ... It also means the 31-year-old is unable to travel to the US to see her sick mother, who was recently placed in a care home after having a stroke three months ago."

The report is another scenario in which a US Citizen residing in the United Kingdom has faced pressure from the UK Home Office. It follows another case in February when the Home Office apologized to a 90 year old American, Albert Dolbec, who had wrongly been told he had to return to the States to apply for a spousal visa, despite his ailing health.

Speaking to The Independent Arta Heath, representing Ms Cullen, said "This is a terrible situation. The Home Office said it knew she had British citizen children but that they could stay with their father, which is absolutely outrageous. They claimed that because [they] had spent two weeks without their mum they could be without her forever ... But the issue now is the administrative process. There is no reason for them to hold onto her passport, but they haven’t sent it to her and the removal direction process is still continuing, meaning she can’t go see her mum."

Also speaking to The Independent, Laura explained that after her right to remain was confirmed, "I felt like I was finally getting over it, that the judge said I could stay. It just doesn’t make sense. They’ve agreed that I do have the right to be here. It’s like I’m allowed to be here but not allowed to leave ... It’s baffling really that they don’t seem to consider any human part of this. I feel like I’m just a number. They wanted to protect the border by tearing a mother from her children."

If you are an American living in the UK who is struggling with UK immigration rules, you can send your story to news@theamerican.co.uk.

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