Plain City rallies around restaurant owner given 30 days to leave the country

Posted at 10:15 PM, Apr 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 17:16:46-04

PLAIN CITY, Utah -- They came to Utah to live the American Dream, and now a Plain City family is being told they have 30 days to close their business and get out of the country.

“I would be heartbroken; we have put everything we've got into this place, everything,” said Suzanne Whitelock, owner of Roylies in Plain City.

Roylies, which is named after Suzanne's grandmother, opened two years ago when Suzanne left Great Britain for Plain City and brought her roots and recipes here.

Customers say the diner has brought not only amazing fish and chips, but new life to the town.

“To have Roylies come back and take the building and renovate it and bring businesses back in and put blood back into the heart of the town,” said Glen Willie, a customer.

The Whitelocks are here on what's called an “E2 Program” that grants them increments of two years to stay and run their business. But Suzanne says an administrative error in London gave her three years on her passport.

So she says she was confused and devastated when she got notice from the Federal Government that said she had 30 days to leave the country. Now they've hired an attorney and are refiling papers to dispute that order.

“It would be a tremendous loss, it would it would be like ripping the heart of the town,” Willie said.

Whitelock said they feel at home here and don't want to leave.

“They've never had any business that's lasted here before, and they don't want us to go, and neither do we,” she said.

They also have to show they have a vibrant business, and they are asking community members to send letters of support to so they can give that to the federal government.

A support event will be held Thursday night at Roylies. The Ice Cream Social will go from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., see the flyer below for details: