Dad separated from family after he is deported from Los Angeles to Bolton
A FATHER deported to Bolton from Los Angeles after living in the US for 33 years has “suffered enough” away from his family, according to a North West MP.
Philip Hartley-Wall, who was born in Bury, but left the UK when he was aged nine, was deported in November, 2010, after he had failed to declare at a Mexico-US border the previous year that he was not American.
This offence, a felony under US federal law, meant he was jailed for seven months and sent back to the UK, away from wife Kimberly, aged 40, and his 12-year-old daughter Kailey.
Andy Burnham, MP for Leigh, has taken on the case and has appealed directly to US President Barack Obama to personally intervene in the case.
He described the punishment meted out to Mr Hartley-Wall as disproportionate to the original offence.
Mr Burnham said: “I believe the President of the US to be a humane and decent man and I think if he looks at this family’s situation he would think, ‘let’s get them back together’.
“They have suffered more than enough.”
Mr Hartley Wall’s wife, and daughter recently flew to the UK to visit the 42-year-old and he said he had never returned to his birthplace since leaving in 1980.
“I look American, sound American and I have an American family,” he has said. “I just answered instinctively.”
“I never think of myself as anything other than American.”
Although he carries a US driving licence and runs a business in Los Angeles, Mr Hartley-Wall does not have a US passport, simply possessing a green card which gives him “permanent alien residency status”.
His wife Kimberly said: “I met Philip in high school when we were aged 15 and to not have him by my side after all these years because of something so minor is unfair.”
Mr Hartley-Wall’s only option under the conventional system is to appeal for a pardon, a process that could take as long as two years, or he will be forced to remain in the UK indefinitely.
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