Scotland’s Education Secretary yesterday threw his full support behind local headteacher David MacIsaac.
American Mr MacIsaac and his wife Susan met the Cabinet Secretary, Mike Russell MSP, in this office in Holyrood with local MSP Joan McAlpine and local councillor Andrew Wood also in attendance.
Mr Russell offered to visit the children at Ae Primary School to offer his support and also to see at first hand the award inning international education programme there.
It also emerged yesterday that the Scottish Government’s External Affairs and International Development Minister, Humza Yousaf MSP, has taken up Mr MacIsaac’s case and will write to the Home Secretary, Theresa May MP, who is responsible for all immigration decisions.
Mr Russell praised the work that Mr MacIssac has done at Ae Primary School and emphasised the importance of rural schools. He was particularly concerned to hear that plans to create a cluster school under Mr MacIsaac’s leadership were threatened by Westminster’s attempts to deport him.
Commenting Ms McAlpine said:
“Mr Russell spent more than half an hours chatting to David and Susan in his office and had a photograph taken with them in front of a copy of the International Declaration of Human Rights.
“He emphasised that Mr MacIsaac’s case was not unusual and that the right-wing Tory government in London was trying to show how tough it was on immigration in order to see off the threat form UKIP in the south of England.
“He made the point that individuals like Mr MacIsaac were collateral damage in this political game, and that the only way forward is for Scotland to control its own immigration policy so we can welcome people who make a significant contribution to our country with their skills, such as Mr MacIssac”.
Although the Home Office have now admitted they made a mistake by claiming his marriage to Susan was invalid, they are insisting he drops his appeal against their decision in return for a temporary extension on his visa.
Ms McAlpine said:
“The UK Border Agency has admitted they made a mistake but are trying to get him to drop his appeal which would make him an illegal immigrant.
“This is effectively a form of bullying.
“We need a common sense approach to be taken and they need to show some compassion to David and Susan and reverse their decision to refuse his leave to remain”.