Save our Thom Pod from deportation
This petition had 7,468 supporters
Thomas Podgoretsky, who has lived in Cornwall for more than 40 years, has been told he could be deported with just 72 hours' notice.
Thom, 71, moved to the county in 1970 having moved to the UK from his native US and as a lot of you will know, he has spent his life in the performing arts, benefiting our community through music and circus. Remember Victor Dragos ? That was Thom and a partner.The Dubious Brothers also and countless other projects.
But he has now been threatened with deportation by the Home Office and told he could be removed from the country with just 72 hours' notice even though he has four children and six grandchildren living in the county.
He has been told he has lost his right to remain in the UK after an extended stay in the US which was partly due to illness. he suffered two heart attacks and a stroke while he was there and was advised by medics that he was too ill to travel.
He returned to the UK in 2010 but was only told that he had lost his right to remain in the country in 2012 and has spent the last three and a half years fighting a legal battle so that he can stay.
He said: "Apparently I broke an immigration law as they say I didn't tell them that I had been out of the country for that time. But they never gave me a chance and should have allowed me to respond initially but I was not told until 2012.
I have made a life here. They have told me that I should go back to the US but I have no living relatives there – all my family is here.
I have grandchildren under the age of three – they told me I could keep in contact through Skype."
Thom has used most of his life savings trying to fight the ruling but has lost two appeals. He has to sign in at a police station once a month and has had to surrender his passport.
He says "I feel like I am being treated like a criminal and I am tired of being treated like this – I have only had two parking tickets in my whole life."
Local MP Sarah Newton has been raising his case with the Home Office.
She said: "I have taken up his case with the Home Secretary and asked her to review his case. I will also be taking this up with her in person too."
The Home Office did not respond to a request for a statement on the situation.
It is worth noting that when Thom first came to Cornwall, Theresa May was 12 years old and David Cameron was 2 !!!!!
This is bureaucracy gone mad, please sign to help stop this pointless insanity !
SAVE OUR THOM
Today: John is counting on you
John Cocks needs your help with “UK Government Home Office: Save our Thom Pod from deportation”. Join John and 7,467 supporters today.