PENSIONER Marx Hirsch who married and raised children in Scotland, received a letter from the Home Office saying he will be deported to the US within days.
A VIETNAM veteran who has lived in Scotland for 47 years is being kicked out of the country because of red tape.
Marx Hirsch, who married and raised his children here, received a letter from the Home Office saying he will be deported to the US within days.
The 74-year-old former US navy petty officer is faced with saying goodbye to his wife, who cannot get medical insurance in the US because she has had cancer.
He said yesterday: “I have lived in Scotland for almost 50 years and, in that time, I have never received any benefits from the government.
“I retired at 38 years old after serving 20 years in the navy but have done several jobs here over the years, have paid my taxes here and have contributed to the Scottish economy.
“I have never been in any trouble here and always make myself part of the local community wherever we have lived in Scotland.”
Marx came to Scotland in 1966 when he landed at Dunoon.
He met and married Mary and raised two daughters with her. In 1977, he was granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office.
He married Forbes in 1984, two years after Mary died, and the couple now live in Stonehouse, Lanarkshire.
The red tape problem arose when the Hirsches went to live in Ireland in 2005.
Marx didn’t realise that if he left the UK, he would only be re-admitted if he returned within two years and had his US passport stamped.
Five years passed before the couple came back to Scotland after losing more than £100,000 when the Irish housing market collapsed.
The Home Office informed Louisiana-born Marx that he was now an illegal immigrant when he returned from a holiday in Spain with Forbes last year.
The couple have tried to fight the decision but were horrified to receive a letter saying Marx had days left in this country.
Forbes choked back tears as she said: “We didn’t read the small print and now we are being punished in the worst possible way.
“We are both devastated and feel terrible about the situation we are in, and have been told we have no right of appeal.
“If Marx is taken back to America, I couldn’t live there because I have had cancer – I wouldn’t get medical insurance and anyway, everything we know is here in Scotland.
“We would also have to sell our home because I couldn’t afford the mortgage on my own.
“And I wouldn’t want to live anywhere without my husband, whom I love dearly.”
Local MP Jim Hood has written to Home Secretary Theresa May demanding that the decision is reversed.
The Labour politician said: “This is a US navy veteran who was given leave to stay in 1977.
“He hasn’t done anything wrong and is not an illegal immigrant. At best, it is a technicality.
“I have been an MP for 26 years and I have never seen anything so vicious and uncaring.”
The Home Office said: “All visa applications are considered on their individual merits and in line with the immigration rules.
“We expect those with no right to remain in the UK to return home voluntarily and will enforce their removal if they fail to do so.”
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