British mum is left 'marooned' in the US as she doesn't earn enough money to return home
A British mum is being forced to raise her family thousands of miles from home due to 'absurd' immigration rules brought in by Theresa May.
Amy Roberts, 33, has been living in a city in the Nevada desert with her American husband and two-year-old daughter Audrey for the past couple of years.
Amy, from Nottingham, says they are 'marooned' in the US because they do not earn enough money to return home.
UK immigration rules state that Amy must find a job in the UK that pays £18,600 so that her husband, Andrus Hernandez, can be granted a visa.
Alternatively, they need £60,000 in their bank account - a sum of money that is currently beyond their means, reports Nottinghamshire Live
Amy said: "I've got a young family and I just want to come home. I can't tell you how much I miss my family. I also miss the pubs, the high street, the NHS, even the rain.
"It's beautiful here but it's not home.
"I want my daughter to know her cousins not just as someone at the end of a video screen.
"My husband is at his wit's end because I have been so homesick for so long. I understand the UK can't take everyone in but I want people to see the human costs behind these rules - it has torn my family apart.
"More than half the UK population do not earn £18,600, it's unfair. I'm not asking for much, I just want to raise my family in the same place I grew up."
Born in the QMC and raised in Beeston, Amy went to Bramcote Hills and Bilborough College and after graduating from the University of Manchester worked for 10 years in the UK.
In 2009 she met Andrus, 39, a tour guide, while on an adventure holiday in the US and they fell in love, marrying in 2013.
They have spent years apart since but finally managed to get her a green card two and a half years ago and move to Reno together, although she said it was a very hard decision.
Shortly afterwards she gave birth to Audrey, who is a joint citizen. She has only been able to afford the flight home three times since.
In 2012 then Home Secretary Theresa May introduced new tougher immigration rules.
Before this, you only needed to earn £5,800 a year to bring your partner to the country.
But now to bring Andrus over Amy must either have a "ridiculous" £62,500 of savings in her account for six months or have a job lined up which pays at least £18,600 a year.
She could move back on her own or with just her daughter but after so much difficulty she is determined to make a home with her husband.
Mary Atkinson, campaigns officer for The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, said theirs is not a unique case and thousands of families are being "wrenched apart, simply because they do not meet an arbitrary income requirement"
"What Amy and her family are going through is absolutely absurd," she added.
"The fact that the government is seemingly happy to exile its own citizens and deny grandparents the joy of seeing their grandchildren grow up is surely a sign of how wrong our immigration policy has gone.
"The Home Secretary can and must act immediately to end this policy, and bring Amy and her family back home to Nottingham where they belong."
A Home Office spokeswoman defended the rules, saying they make sure families coming here can support themselves.
She argued the £18,600 was the point where you stop getting income-related benefits meaning you are not a "burden on the taxpayer".
She also said the Home Office takes into account the best interests of children and in exceptional circumstances would help families financially.
The threshold has been challenged in the Supreme Court.
The country's most senior judges upheld it "in principle" but acknowledged it caused hardship for thousands of families.
The spokeswoman said: "The Supreme Court has endorsed our approach in setting an income requirement for family migration that prevents burdens on the taxpayer and ensures migrant families can integrate into our communities.
"All cases are carefully considered on their individual merits, in line with the immigration rules and our policy on exceptional circumstances, and are based on evidence provided by the applicant.”
Applying for a visa can be an expensive process.
To put themselves in a better position Amy is working full time at an American TV station but the couple are also appealing for help via a crowdfunder. You can donate here .