A father faces having his two children taken into care 8,500 miles away because the Home Office says he does not earn enough money to keep them in the UK.
Barman Justin Tutt, 29, brought son Seth, eight, and daughter Leigh, five, to live in England with him after the sudden death of their mother in their native South Africa. But despite Mr Tutt holding a British passport and having another son born in the UK, under new immigration rules cracking down on asylum seekers claiming benefits, Seth and Leigh cannot stay here as they must be living in a family earning at least £22,500 a year. Because Mr Tutt brings home only £120 a week and his fiancee is on maternity leave, the youngsters will be deported in March and are likely to be taken into care. A South African social worker has now warned the father-of-three that his children could be at ‘significant risk’ because they are white and maybe singled out for attack.
Today Mr Tutt, who lives with his children, fiancée Clare Miles, 29, their seven-month-old son Jake and Clare’s daughter Kaitlyn, seven, in Burnley, Lancashire, said: ‘People ask why I don’t just go back to South Africa but I have nothing out there and I will lose my family here if I go there. ‘Here I have got a house, a job and I am settled and I don’t see why Seth and Leigh can’t settle with us too. ‘I am in a catch 22 but I will fight as much as I have to to keep my boys with me. ‘It is impossible for me to go back. ‘I just want to have my children here safe with me and yet I’m being told that they aren’t allowed to and that they will be put into care. ‘All my family live in England, I have no one in South Africa and no life there. ‘All I want to do is keep my family here safe and together.’
South African born Mr Tutt, whose mother was born in Britain, emigrated to the UK five years ago to find work and a new life after he and his wife Deidre split up. Seth and Leigh lived with their mother in Kimberley on the Northern Cape whilst he met Clare and she became pregnant with Jake. But tragedy struck when Deirdre died in May last year and the children had to come to England to live with their father.
‘We have four children and are getting married in May this year and it is not like we have money to spare. I could understand if the children’s mum was still alive and we were wanting to bring them over but the circumstances are a lot different. It is clear from the above that this family need support for this petition to the Home Secretary, Theresa May MP. Please sign this petition forward it to your friends to do the same as we have only a month until this insane deportation takes place!