Dalham: MP joins family’s fight

AN MP has pledged to help reunite a war veteran and his family who have been separated because of a Home Office delay.

Wife Beverley and children five-year-old Jacob and two-year-old Florence were parted from Chad Carlson last week after he was forced to return to America.

West Suffolk MP Matthew Hancock has added his voice to the battle to help Mr Carlson, who spent 11 years at RAF Lakenheath, return to his family.

He said: “I was concerned to learn about the Carlsons’ problems and will do whatever I can to help them through this difficult situation. I have already been in contact with the UKBA about Mr Carlson. The agency is right to have apologised for this six-month delay and they must now treat this case as a matter of urgency as I have requested.”

Mr Carlson submitted a spouse application to the UK Home Office Border Agency in February, but has still not received his visa.

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After retiring from the USAF, the 38-year-old started work in the aviation industry which proved difficult because he could not travel as the UK Border Agency has his passport.

He has flown back to America on his military retirement orders and will not be able to return to the UK without his passport.

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Mrs Carlson, of Stores Hill, Dalham, said: “The children are still very confused, especially Florence. She constantly says ‘where are you daddy?’ and has imaginary conversations with him on her toy telephone, while says ‘mummy, can we go to America today?’ “It’s heartbreaking. What do you tell them?”

Mrs Carlson, 39, who could not follow her husband due to the Home Office holding her passport, added: “The one good thing to come out of this so far is that he has been reunited with his American family who haven’t seen him in three years.

“I take comfort in the fact that at least he is in safe hands this time rather than a dangerous warzone.”

A UK Border Agency spokesman confirmed there is currently no update on Mr Carlson’s visa application.

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