Campaign to prevent Bexhill man’s deportation


An American living in Bexhill is facing deportation at the end of the month, despite living in the country for the past decade with his partner of 19 years.

Michael Phelan came to the UK in 2005 with his British partner John Wilde and the couple entered into a civil partnership in 2006.



Michael, who lives in Singleton Walk, received a temporary residence for five years and when this expired he applied for an indefinite leave to remain.

He was refused and was forced to wait three years for an answer from the Home Office as to what they were going to do since he had been declared an overstay.

Michael has now been told he is to return to the USA on October 22, forcing him to leave behind his partner of 19 years.

Supporters have set up an online petition urging the Home Office to reconsider its decision.

A friend of the couple, Yvonne Cleland, has issued a heart-felt plea to Teresa May to allow Michael to remain in the UK, branding the decision to deport him “unfair, unjust and discriminatory”.

Her letter said: “Michael and John have been in a relationship for 20 years, and a civil partnership for ten years.

“Both men make a massive contribution to our community. Since Michael came to England with John 10 years ago, he has always worked, paid UK taxes and been a model citizen.

“John is also a model citizen who works and pays his taxes. Michael and John have a permanent, committed and loving relationship, are good decent people, good neighbours and productive, creative and caring members of our locality.

“Michael is loved by John’s family, both men’s work colleagues, their mutual friends, neighbours and larger community. I love both of these men dearly, and am proud to call them my friends. It would be heart-wrenching beyond endurance for my family if Michael and John had to be separated because your department decrees that Michael has to return to the USA.

“I understand your concerns as Secretary of State that some immigrants may make demands on our economy that we are ill-placed to meet. However, this isn’t the case with Michael Phelan. It is difficult to interpret this Home Office decision as anything other than unfair, unjust, and discriminatory. Why does your department wish to deport a man who has benefited our community and country by doing everything requested of him in order to stay here, and who has a long-standing family life here?”

The Home Office has been approached for comment.

To sign the petition, visit

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