Wildwood couple being deported back to England
WILDWOOD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A quaint British Tearoom is being shutdown, and its owners shipped back over the pond.
"I feel gutted, absolutely gutted. It was like a slap in the face," says Patricia Bennett of the moment she opened a letter from Homeland Security, stating she and her husband were being deported. "We've invested everything into this country. We used to have the American flag in our house when the kids were growing up, and we'd say to them, it's the best country in the world."
John and Patricia Bennett have been in the states for 10 years on an E2 visa. It's a visa that allows a person into the country based on entrepreneurial investment. Patricia and her husband apply for the visa every two years and have gotten it renewed every time, until now, when their most recent application was denied.
The letter from Homeland Security states the Bennett's weren't employing enough people.
"We lost a lot of money. We've had to work really hard just to keep going, and we explained that, and we said we'll put it right straight away."
Patricia says the agency didn't give them enough time to fix the issue, and instead, two weeks later sent them a letter saying they had 14 days to leave the country. Patricia is also an author. She says she came to the States for the American dream.
"You know, this is the place where things happen, and it's very crushing. We're going back to nothing. I have three children and they don't have houses. And what I am supposed to do? How am I supposed to sell a business in two weeks?"
People we spoke to are outraged.
"I'm just sad and confused, and I thought we were making America great again?"
Others tell us, it just doesn't make sense.
"They pay taxes, they pay social security. There are people that came to this country, that immigrated that are leeches, that are sponging on welfare but you have two people who are the complete opposite, and yet were told we don't want you," says villager Donna Kagin.
The Bennett's will close their Tearoom Saturday and leave the country on Sunday.