Deportation of US music legend “in public interest” claims Home Office


GOVERNMENT lawyers yesterday claimed it was in the “public interest” to deport a famed American session musician who supports himself on income of around £60,000-a-year.

Dr Steve Forman, a percussionist and lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, is fighting a Home Office bid to throw him out of the country.

A judge at an Immigration Tribunal yesterday (wed) was told Dr Forman, 68, had played with artists including Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac and John Lennon.

So many of Dr Forman’s students and supporters turned up to the hearing they could not be accommodated in the court room.

After hearing evidence, the judge deferred his decision until the New Year, meaning the musician will get to spend Christmas in Scotland before learning his fate.

STEVE_FORMAN_HEARING_WEBDr Forman, originally from Los Angeles, is set to be deported because his Conservatoire salary is short of the £31,000 he needs to meet Home Office immigration rules.

But royalties and other sources of income mean he earns in the region of $7,600 – almost £5,000 – a month.

Dr Forman, who has lived in Scotland for six years and does not claim “a dime” in benefit, has been teaching music students at the conservatoire for four years.

But a lawyer for the Home Office, who declined to give her name to journalists, told the hearing: “The public interest in this case is more than enough to justify his removal.”

She said he could not stay on the basis that he claimed no benefits, wanted to work and had committed no offences.

“The rules are the rules and the rules can’t be met in this case,” she said.

“There is an acceptance there will be no obstacles to the appellant relocation back to the United States of America.”

Dr Forman’s defence lawyer, Fraser Latta, said: “It is in the public interest for people who speak English to remain in the UK. It is in the public interest for people who are self-sufficient to stay in the UK.

“This is a person who is not only a teacher but also a person of value to the community.

“There have been 63 letters of support for Steve from colleagues, students and lecturers.

“This is not someone who is here for monetary reasons. He is not only a teacher for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – he is infused by life here.

“This is someone who has a monthly income of $7,600 – the original decision letter doesn’t deal with this case properly and I asked the Home Office to reconsider on the basis of proportionality.

“This is a man who has had a considerable history of working with David Bowie, Pink Floyd, the Beach Boys and movie sound tracks such as E.T.

“His enthusiasm for what he does drips out of him.”

Judge John Macdonald, deferring a decision until January, agreed there “is no shortage of support for Steve Foreman”.

Dr Forman said after the hearing: “I feel pretty good.

“The judge was fair to all involved.

“I haven’t decided what I’m doing at Christmas yet – I’m just living at the moment.”


  1. Steve Forman is a wonderful human being, who gives back to his community, helps people, has a wealth of knowledge to teach and impart to young musicians. Any school, community or country would be fortunate to have him as a citizen and teacher. I have spent years working with Steve and hope he succeeds in his wish to stay in the UK.

    • Steve Schaeffer knows what he’s talking about! Mr. Schaeffer is one of my drum heros from the L.A. session scene of the 70’s thru the 90’s.

  2. If the UK cannot accommodate people who love this country and with their talent bring us more benefits than we give to them, there is no hope for our future!

  3. This man clearly contributes a lot to the country and takes nothing from it bar a modest wage. It’s more likely in the public interest that he stays, not leaves. He is clearly a musician of international repute and his knowledge as a teacher is surely valuable.

  4. I can’t see how this is ‘in the public interest’ – this man is earning his living, not claiming from the government, and providing a valuable service to the Conservatoire. What more can we ask of a person?

  5. The proposed deportation of Dr. Forman shows just how unfair and incompetent the Home Office has become. The rules of how much money someone has to make to stay in the country is arbitrary and stupid, and obviously based on a knee jerk reaction to the need to be ‘doing something’ about immigration.

  6. With so many criminals and generally undesirable immigrants on the loose in the UK at present I want to know what this man has done to warrant such extreme measures. Whom in authority has he upset ?

  7. Lies & delusion,the stipulations are that his visa requires that he earn more than £31,000 per year,and they are not taking in to consideration his royalty earnings. This is gross negligence as well as misconduct at the Home Office. Who is this Miss Con-Ducked who will feel the embarr-ass-ment when a good lawyer takes up this case! Better still,if there are any good lawyers out there why not defend his rights anyway!

  8. Hey Steve! Good luck! If you need any help, let me know! I loved playing your quintet when we were working together in LA! They are lucky to have you over there!

  9. Mr. Foreman is a gifted percussionist who was on the “first call” list of Los Angeles session musicians in the ’70s and ’80s with an amazing and extensive discography.
    Listen to any radio station that plays pop/funk/rock/jazz, commercials and/or film scores from that period, and you will hear Mr. Foreman within 10 minutes. He has an amazing list of top ten records he has performed on…

  10. The same country that allows the dross of the world to breeze in by the hundreds of thousands every year, no questions asked.

  11. Well done Teresa May. Keep the people you should deport and deport the people you should keep.
    That should fit in well with the policies of you lunatic colleagues.
    The Home Office motto?
    “We’re not fit for purpose, just like the rest of this government”

  12. “A lawyer for the Home Office…said he could not stay on the basis that he claimed no benefits, wanted to work and had committed no offences”.

    Thousands of people seeking asylum are in this category. But they get deported and sometimes, like Jimmy Mubenga, are killled while being deported.

    We live in a country with a harsh and cruel immigration industry and while I wish Steve Forman success, I hope his case will encourage more people to look at its injustices for people from all over the world.

  13. Looks like a case of asset stripping by the Tory party to kick Scotland in the teeth at every opportunity for attempted ng the yes vote. Stating “we can do what we want and you voted for us to do so” Tories will make Scotland suffer a lot more before they get kicked out.

  14. I can’t help wondering if this is another instance of malicious compliance – if someone in the Home Office, recognising just how stupid the new rules are, has gone out of their way to cherrypick the most sympathetic cases and hurry through their deportation to illustrate the point.

    Of course, the danger is that people won’t grasp that the principle is the problem, preferring instead to imagine that there should be some get-out-of-deportation-free card for “nice” people. Umm… no. The whole iceberg is the problem, not just the bit of it peeping up above the waterline.

    • Exactly. We live in a country where the government has introduced a law (the Immigration Bill) which is specifically designed with the purpose of “creating a really hostile environment” for migrants.
      Very occasionally a personable white person like Steve falls foul of this regime (and I hope it works out well for him) but every day there are people escaping torture and repression who face detention with no end, enforced destitution, violent deportation and racism. Let’s rally to support them too.
      Have a look at or

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