Andy Burnham reiterates promise to help deported man
4:10pm Friday 1st November 2013 in NW
ANDY Burnham has reiterated his promise to help reunite a deported man with his family.
The Leigh MP met with Philip Hartley-Wall on Friday at Leigh Town Hall, almost 12 months after he sent a letter to Barack Obama to implore him to reconsider Mr Wall’s case.
Mr Wall was born in the UK but moved to Los Angeles with his family when he was just eight years old. Since then he has barely left the country and considers himself an American.
That was until he was arrested on the Mexican border for giving a federal officer a false statement and deported, leaving his wife Kimberley and 12-year-old daughter Kailey behind.
Mr Wall was detained for seven months and held in a immigration centre for 11 months before being flown to Heathrow, where he became friends with another man who had been deported to Tyldesley.
In his letter, Mr Burnham said: “Mr Wall was deported to a country he does not know without a penny to his name. It is only that he made an informal acquaintance with a man from my constituency while in ICE detention that he had a family to contact on arrival.
“They were a close knit, loving family suffering hardships brought about by an enforced separation.
“I find it difficult to see how an innocent child and mother, both US citizens, should be punished in this way.”
The family have struggled financially and emotionally since Mr Wall’s deportation. Kailey – who has special educational needs – is falling behind at school, Kimberley is taking anti-depressants and Mr Wall’s mental health is deteriorating.
The letter continued: “It seems to me that Mr Wall has already been punished enough for his original offence, serving out his prison sentence without complaint. Mr Wall may be guilty of an on-the-spot inaccurate statement and a lack of knowledge of international travel but he is no hardened criminal.
“To break up a family and ruin three lives does not seem to me neither humane or right.”
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