A FAMILY is fighting for justice – and to have their loving husband and father back in the country.
Lorraine Marx, who lives in Bosham, is petitioning for her husband Ralph be allowed home after he was deported.
Mr Marx, who is American, was living in the UK on a visitors visa – the best option for the engineer who regularly travelled for work.
After falling gravely ill with leukaemia and a lung infection, he applied for indefinite leave to remain in the country. But the application was rejected and Mr Marx was forced to leave the UK.
“I was stunned,” said Mrs Marx, a former Royal Navy officer.
“We had tried so hard to be positive and after Ralph had been so sick it was so hard to bear. The Home Office can expedite applications where there is a genuine need to do so. What on earth could these genuine reasons be?
“What is more serious than life-threatening cancer?”
The family, including daughter Alexandra, had previously been living in the Netherlands. But they decided to move back to the UK to be closer to Lorraine’s father.
“My daughter has had to live without her daddy for almost a year,” said Mrs Marx.
“The only person I’ve managed to speak to at the Home Office asked why we don’t just go and live in America. This is our home.”
In January, a judge upheld the couple’s appeal, agreeing that Ralph should come back to Bosham. “The judge was amazed they had even brought it to appeal in the first place,” said Mrs Marx. “It was a huge relief.”
But, just days after the good news, the Home Office announced it was appealing the decision on the grounds immigration rules were not followed correctly.
A Home Office spokesman said: “Mr Marx’s application for a spousal visa was rejected because he did not show that he met the financial requirements of the rules. Our family rules have been designed to make sure those coming to the UK to join their spouse or partner will not become a burden on the taxpayer and will be well enough supported to integrate effectively.”
But Mrs Marx remains baffled as to why the Home Office believes the family can’t support itself.
“With all the major issues the government has to tackle, I can’t believe they are working so hard to keep a decent, taxpaying family apart.
“My husband has nearly died twice and now he can’t work because they won’t give his passport back.”
The Home Office rules stipulate that for a spousal visa, the couple must have cash savings and an annual income of at least £18,600.
Solicitor for the Marx family, Steven Grosvenor, said he was ‘satisfied with the evidence’ which showed the family had more than enough savings to support themselves and Mrs Marx said they are financially stable.
“I understand that my husband is not entitled to any support – we’ve never asked for any. Cancer patients just don’t need the stress. But he’s doing well thank God for that – I think lesser people would have crumbled.”
“Our life is on hold until somebody makes a decision.”
The family relies on Skype to communicate and apart from a visit to the USA to see Mr Marx, Alexandra has been entirely separated from her father. “Will the Home Office come and explain to her if Ralph’s cancer comes back and she has missed the last couple of years of his life?” said Mrs Marx.
Lorraine’s petition can be found here