A BUNCRANA-born father has launched a campaign on Facebook in the hope of being allowed back into the USA to see his young son grow up.
Paul Ferguson (28) was deported fro San Francisco in 2011 having outstayed his holiday visa and was involved in an incident on an internal US flight.
His son Dylan was just six week old.
Now Paul maintains he is being forced to watch Dylan grow up on Skype after his appeal to the US Embassy in Ireland fell on deaf ears, to be re-admitted to the USA.
Since then Paul has only seen his son three times for a week at a time, when his American born mother brought him to Ireland. The couple are no longer an item.
She also keeps the 28-year old up-to-date with Dylan’s progress in daily texts and emails.
“We are not together anymore but I could not wish for a better mother for my son. She is giving me a life-line to Dylan and she is raising him to be independent, smart and strong,” said Paul.
Paul emigrated for work to Perth, Australia, last October and says he pines for his son every day na made the trip home to see Dylan in Buncrana at Christmas.
He has launched a Facebook campaign ‘To Reunite a Father with his Son’ and has been contacted by other fathers who are suffering in silence.
“At this stage I’m afraid I am becoming a stranger to Dylan. When he hears my Irish accent on Skype he says ‘hello Daddy’ but it is very difficult.
“After the call, I am so upset it takes me half and hour to come around. I miss him every single day,” he added.
“The amount of supportive messages I have been getting from people all over the world has been unbelievable.”
Paul, who works as an air-conditioning installer in Perth, says he is being denied his human rights as a parent. He also says he was devastated by the American deportation system.
“Everybody who goes through deportation feels so degraded and dehumanised by the whole ordeal,” he adds.
Paul first visited California on a ninety-day holiday visa in 2005. He moved there permanently a year-and-a-half later and met Dylan’s mum in 2008. His dream is to be allowed live and work in San Francisco to be near his adored child.
“This is tearing me apart but I will not give up the fight. I have to hold out hope and believe there is some humanity in the world.
“If all else fails, at least my son will know how much I love him and how hard I tried to get back to him.”