Prime Minister refuses to intervene in US musician deportation

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PRIME Minister David Cameron has refused to step in and save a legendary US musician from deportation.

Cameron was asked during Question Time why the Home Office was trying to deport Dr Steve Forman despite his “immense contribution to the music and creative scene” in Scotland.

 

 

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Dr Forman faces going back to Los Angeles after immigration officials appealed to overturn a judge’s ruling that allowed him to stay in the UK.

 

The Prime Minister said in his letter of reply that immigration rules were designed to attract the “brightest and best” foreign workers and musicians.

But he claimed he could not intervene in the case, despite Dr Forman’s pioneering work at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow and with Pink Floyd and David Bowie.

Dr Forman, 68, said last night he was feeling “anxious”, adding: “It shouldn’t be that complicated.”
The pecussionist, originally from Los Angeles, has lived in Scotland for seven years and had a job at the Conservatoire.

Appeal

 

The Home Office claims he fails to meet requirement for residency because his salary is too low and he lacks a private life in the UK.

Dr Forman won his case but the Home Office is appealing. The case was raised in the Commons by his constituency MP Patrick Grady.

The Prime Minister’s letter stated: “Our immigration reforms have been designed to attract the brightest and best foreign workers and students, including artists and musicians, without undercutting the resident labour force.”

 

 

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But he added: “It is essential that we maintain the integrity of the immigration rules for all applicants and in the interests of the public at large.”

Cameron said it would be inappropriate to interfere in the appeal process.

Dr Forman, whose rhythm theory students at the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow started a petition to keep him, said: “I wouldn’t want this to be an excuse for anyone to vilify the government.

“But it shouldn’t be that complicated for someone who speaks English and holds down a job to have dual residency.

“People in London do it, people have been doing it for centuries. I don’t know why it won’t happen for me.

“The way it stands a lot of people get caught in the cracks.”

 

 

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Dr Forman is awaiting the outcome of the latest hearing.

He added: “I want to be able to work. I’d like to stay here and continue doing what I’m doing.”

Mr Grady said: “I think Dr Forman makes a pretty unique contribution to the cultural scene and wider economy.

“It’s a pity the Prime Minister hasn’t fully recognised that. I’m going to continue to look into if there is scope for the Prime Minister to intervene.

“It would be very disappointing if Dr Forman had to leave the UK.”

Neither Downing Street nor the Home Office would make any comment.

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