Politics

Actual Supervillain Peter Dutton Just Called The Biloela Tamil Children “Anchor Babies”

"Anchor baby" is an offensive and racist term.

Peter Dutton says Australians will miss out on medical treatment thanks to refugees

Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton has referred to the children of a Sri Lankan family trying to stay in Australia as “anchor babies”, in a gross escalation of the government’s war against the asylum seeker family.

Dutton was speaking to Ray Hadley (of course) on radio station 2GB (OF COURSE), when he made the gross comments while complaining that it has cost the government “millions of dollars” to get the family kicked out of the country.

“The matter has been to the High Court,” Dutton told Hadley. “These people came by boat. It’s been made clear to them at every turn that they were not going to stay in Australia and they still had children. We see that overseas in other countries, anchor babies, so-called, [using] the emotion of trying to leverage a migration outcome based on the children and they claim they have new grounds to test with the Federal Court.”

Dutton also complained that the government is finding it much harder to boot the family out of the country than it first thought.

“I regret to say I don’t think this will be dealt with quickly. I think it will go on now for potentially a couple of months because lawyers will try and delay and that is part of a tactic. They think if they delay they can keep the pressure on the government and we’ll change our mind in relation to this case,” he said.

What Is An “Anchor Baby”?

“Anchor baby” is a deeply offensive and racist term coined by anti-immigration activists and lawmakers in the US. It refers to the children of non-citizen adults, who allegedly hope to use their kids who were born in the US as a pathway to citizenship.

It’s worth noting that Australia, unlike the US, does not have birthright citizenship — where citizenship is automatically given to children born on US soil — so Dutton’s analogy doesn’t stack up on any level.

It’s also worth pointing out that Dutton’s claim about the family’s case going to the High Court isn’t exactly true either. Their claim to be refugees has never been tested by an Australian court, as pointed out here by Change.org campaigner Sally Rugg.

If you’re not familiar with the family’s case, Priya and Nades arrived in Australia separately by boat in 2012 and 2013. Both their daughters were born in Australia. They’ve been held in immigration detention since March last year following a dawn raid on their home in Biloela, Queensland, by Border Force officers the day after their bridging visa expired.

Earlier this year the family lost their bid to have their case reviewed by the High Court. Advocates have been calling on Immigration Minister David Coleman to personally intervene in the case, but his boss, Dutton has repeatedly said that the family is “not owed protection by our country” — despite the fact that the family fears they will be persecuted if they return to Sri Lanka.

In this morning’s interview, Dutton played down the family’s feats, saying the they’re welcome to return to Sri Lanka and apply to come to Australia through the regular channels, claiming that Nades had already returned to Sri Lanka once since arriving in Australia.

The Home To Bilo campaign has strongly denied Dutton’s claims. “The facts are that the conditions of Nades’ visa prevented him from leaving and then returning to Australia. After arriving in Australia in 2012, Nades was issued a bridging visa that did not allow him to exit and return to Australia, making what Mr Dutton says untrue and simply impossible,” the campaign said in a statement.

You can read more about the family’s story here.