Biloela’s Tamil Family Have Lost Their Last Bid To Avoid Deportation, Unless The Government Acts
Their local community desperately wants them to stay.
Biloela’s beloved Tamil asylum seeker family have lost their bid to have their case reviewed by the High Court, which means they could be deported any day now. The local community is now desperately calling for the Minister for Immigration to step in, saying that deporting the family would be a mistake.
Priya, Nades and their two young daughters Kopika and Tharunicaa were taken into detention over a year ago when the Australian Border Force entered their home in a dawn raid over a visa expired by a single day. Since that raid, the close-knit Queensland town of Biloela has been campaigning for the family to be returned home safely, describing them as beloved and valued members of the community.
The family claim that if they are returned to Sri Lanka, they are likely to face violence and persecution. They have been through multiple court processes to appeal their deportation, but yesterday the High Court dismissed an application to review the case, ending their hopes of a legal intervention.
The family could be deported any day now, and the Biloela community is desperately appealing to the Minister for Immigration, David Coleman, who has the power to step in and save the family if he chooses. Peter Dutton has previously refused to step in and save the family, despite his history of stepping in to grant visas to random au pairs back in 2015.
Folks, the sad news is true. Our friends have lost their High Court appeal. Today, more than ever, Nades, Priya, Kopika and Tharunicaa, need your help – a phone call. Please, don't let our friends be taken. Pick up the phone. https://t.co/mUDqblRu1v #hometoBilo #Biloela pic.twitter.com/VA6NbHMe6H
— HometoBilo (@HometoBilo) May 14, 2019
Just to remove any doubt, the Minister has unassailable discretion to allow this family to remain in Australia. It’s difficult to know all of the circumstances but at face value, if discretion is to be afforded, this seems to be a showcase to do so. https://t.co/nuvSXoN0Mx
— Roman Quaedvlieg (@quaedvliegs) May 14, 2019
The Biloela community is urging anyone who can to contact their local MP, or David Coleman himself, urging the Minister to reconsider. They point out that the family was beloved in the town of Biloela, that Nades was a valued employee at the local meatworks, and that more than 180,000 Australians have signed a petition calling for the family to be allowed to stay.
Scott Morrison posting videos making a Sri Lankan curry with his daughters, while his gov is preparing to deport two Australian-born girls and their Tamil parents, Priya and Nades from Biloela to Sri Lanka where they are in danger. Shameless. pic.twitter.com/GsAxeZosmp
— Sally Rugg (@sallyrugg) May 15, 2019
As we’ve written before, this family has done everything Australia demands of migrants and more: they’ve settled in a small country town, taken up jobs (in Nades’ case, in an industry with labour shortages), and become valued members of the community. Their two daughters were born in Australia, and their town is calling for them to be returned. If you have a free moment, you can find advice on how to call your MP here.