An Australian veteran of the Afghan war has criticized the Minister of Internal Affairs, Peter Dutton, for intervening in a visa case to avoid the deportation of a French au pair, after being pressured by the head of the AFL, Gil McLachlan.
Captain Jason Scanes has accused Mr. Dutton of ignoring several requests to sit down and discuss the possibility of granting a visa to an Afghan interpreter who worked with him during Australia's involvement in Afghanistan, and whose life is in danger from the Taliban.
"I am disgusted to think that the minister has considered it appropriate to be personally involved in the affairs of the au pair visa," said Captain Scanes. news.com.au.
"I have requested meetings with (Mr. Dutton) through my federal deputy, I have traveled to Canberra on three occasions and presented at the House of Parliament and requested a meeting, I even sat outside the local electorate office in Brisbane during three days.
"Still he would not talk to me, I think that truly reflects the value and consideration he has for our Defense Force and the many veterans throughout Australia."
Dutton says he intervened to save the babysitter because he thought it was a bit "difficult" for a young woman without a criminal record to be expelled from the country.
However, in doing so, he annulled the advice of a senior official of the Australian Border Force, who warned that the details provided by the young woman did not support the intervention of the minister.
Captain Scanes has questioned why priority was not given to the Afghan interpreters who helped Australian troops during the Afghan conflict.
"I feel that most Australians would agree with me when I ask why granting visas to au pairs was seen as a high priority, requiring the intervention of the minister," he said.
"The Taliban are actively hunting the Afghan interpreters who were wearing the uniform of the Australian army in Afghanistan, helping the troops and facilitating the mission of our government in the war against terrorism.
"Why are not they considered a priority to process?" Many have waited years for their applications to be processed, only to be rejected by a character test, many still have no answer.
Mr. Dutton was also told that there would be "financial responsibility" for allowing the woman to stay, since her return plane tickets were already reserved.
Alexandra Deuwel arrived at the Adelaide airport on October 31, 2015. The 27-year-old girl was arrested by ABF officers after admitting that she intended to work, in violation of her tourist visa, by farmer Callum MacLachlan, a resident of Adelaida, who is the second of Gil McLachlan. cousin.
The officers canceled their visa on the spot and Ms. Deuwel was detained by immigration, pending deportation.
However, the head of the AFL pressured the minister's office on behalf of his relatives, and urged Mr. Dutton to leave her.
Mr. Dutton's chief of staff received an email, which was leaked to various media outlets, written by Callum MacLachlan and his wife Skye.
"There has been a clear misunderstanding that he intended to work for us when he is here to spend time with our family, as we consider it to be a family," the couple wrote.
"What can we do to resolve this injustice and restore your tourist visa before she leaves tonight?"
The minister used his discretionary powers to grant him a three-month tourist visa, on condition that he did not work.
Mr. Dutton did it despite being told that the young woman had been previously advised in May 2015 after violating the conditions of her visa.
Ms. Deuwel had been in Australia for the last time on May 3 as the holder of a tourist visa, having worked for the MacLachlan family as an au pair in 2013 and 2014.
Mr. Dutton, who is now Minister of Internal Affairs, said he weighed the case based on his merits and not on the person who had referred him.
He argued that the references to the young woman being an au pair were "flowery language" and "complete nonsense".
"I looked at him and I thought it was a bit harsh, there was no criminal record, she agreed that he would not work while he was here," Dutton told the 2GB radio on Thursday.
"As I understand it, she never delayed the visa, did not commit any crime and I thought it was an application of common sense."
Dutton said he dealt with hundreds of visa problems every year.
He claimed that "enemies in the media" were dredging the case to "square" for his role in knocking Malcolm Turnbull down in a leadership coup last week.
The minister also criticized the "unreliable" Senate investigation created to examine his interventions in the cases of two other au pairs in 2015, which should hear evidence next week.
"I am a person of integrity, I have never been compromised, I will never do it," he said.