Family torn apart after dad is stopped at UK airport and deported to Spain

A British woman has spoken of her heartache after her husband of 15 years was deported to Spain leaving her and their teenage daughter in the UK. Aimee Grossman’s husband Gines Rodrigue, 45, a Spanish citizen, was removed from the UK yesterday (June 15).

It came four days after he was detained at Leeds Bradford Airport following a trip to see his elderly mother in Spain. He said had lived with Aimee and their daughter for two years from 2016 - 2018 before returning again to the UK in 2021.

It is understood he applied to live in the UK under the European Union Settlement Scheme - but missed the June 2021 deadline. It it thought his case was rejected because of a lack of evidence outlining why it was 'late'

And the couple claim they can't afford to apply for a spousal visa. Aimee, 43, said: “He was treated like absolute dirt. He returned on Tuesday and was told he has to leave on Saturday - there’s no justice whatsoever.

"We’ve been married for 15 years, it’s not like we just got married last week. It just feels like there’s no human rights. I’m British, my daughter’s got a British passport.

“They told him we’ll all have to go to Spain and start a new life there, or that we should separate and Gines should go back to Spain by himself - it’s just horrible.”

Aimee, Gines and their 15-year-old daughter Rubi live in Grimsby. They lived in the UK from 2016 to 2018, before returning to Spain to care for Gines’s 84-year-old mother who has bad legs. They then returned in 2018 and have lived in the UK ever since.

Aimee said they have never had issues with border control or immigration while previously travelling between the two countries. Gines went to visit his mum for a week on June 5. On his return to the UK on June 11, he was stopped at Leeds Bradford Airport passport control.

He was then taken to immigration - where Aimee said he was handcuffed, questioned, and told he would be deported to Spain four days later. Aimee said: “He’s tried to apply for the EU settlement scheme, but he doesn’t qualify - god knows why.

“It just completely baffles me - we’ve never had issues before. Suddenly our whole lives have done a complete 360.”

A letter from the Home Office to the family confirmed Gines had applied for the EU settlement scheme six times and had been refused each time due to a lack of evidence. Aimee says that Gines is unable to apply for a family visa, because he cannot afford to pay for it.

Aimee, who is out of work, is currently receiving treatment in the UK for anxiety, depression and heart issues and Gines cares for her. Their daughter is in college, studying law, and hopes to go to university to continue her studies in criminal law.

Aimee said: “They told Gines ‘your wife and daughter will have to go to Spain with you and start a life there’. My daughter is in full time education, she wants to go to university here, she’s got her heart set on studying criminal law. She’s a British citizen, as am I - it just feels like there’s no justice.”

Aimee approached a lawyer regarding the family’s situation. In their response, the lawyer said they could make an application based on Aimee’s “human rights” which could stop the enforcement action.

However, hiring a lawyer would cost Aimee over £4,500 - money the family were unable to get before the deportation flight. Gines was deported from Leeds Bradford Airport to Malaga Airport on Saturday afternoon.

Leeds Bradford Airport border control confirmed in a letter that Gines was detained because there was "insufficient reliable information to decide on whether to grant [him] immigration bail".

A letter from the Home Office said Gines was ordered to be deported to Spain because they were "not satisfied that [he] is a genuine visitor" and they "believe it is [his] intention to enter the United Kingdom to work and stay for an extended period or to make the UK your main home".

A Home Office spokesperson said they did not comment on individual cases.