& # 39; Tamil family stay is in the national interest of Australia & # 39 ;: former immigration minister Tony Burke jumps in defense of Sri Lankan migrants
- A Tamil family came to Australia illegally by boat and had two children here
- They lived in the QLD city of Biloela until they were detained in March 2018
- Family has been sent to Christmas Island in the midst of a legal struggle for the right to stay
- They were to be deported on Friday, but were given a last-minute delay
Labor chief strategist and former immigration minister Tony Burke says it is in the national interest that the Sri Lankan Tamil family stay in the country.
Burke argued that their stay is good for the city of Biloela, a rural town in central Queensland where the family lived before joining them on a plane to Sri Lanka last week, then it is also good for Australia.
Priya, her husband Nadesalingam and their two Australian-born children Kopika, four, and Tharunicaa, two, are currently being held in the detention center on Christmas Island, which was previously closed in early 2018.
Priya, her husband Nadesalingam and their two Australian-born children Kopika, four and Tharunicaa, two, are currently being held in the detention center on Christmas Island, which was previously closed in early 2018
The family had fallen in love with many members of the Biloela community, 6,000 residents.
& # 39; You have a matter of national interest here. You have a city that says this family is good for our city in Biloela. You have a company that says, "I don't want to lose my employee," Burke told Sky News.
& # 39; You don't even have to come up with compassionate arguments before you have a matter of national concern. That is what is now.
& # 39; If it is good for Biloela that this family stays, how is it different from the national interest? The norm is whether it's good for Australia. & # 39;
The Tamil family was put on a charter plane to Sri Lanka last week, but their plane was forced to land in Darwin following an order from the Federal Court.
The order has now been extended until 5 p.m. on Friday.
Labor chief strategist and former immigration minister Tony Burke says it is in the national interest that the Sri Lankan Tamil family stay in the country
The family's lawsuit depends on the two-year-old Tharunicaa, who was born in Australia and her right to apply for a protection visa.
Despite being born in Australia, the toddler is considered a & # 39; unauthorized maritime arrival & # 39; according to the Migration Act, which stipulates that children of asylum seekers who enter the country by boat cannot apply for a visa.
Her parents Priya and Nadesalingam and four-year-old sister Kopika have not been considered refugees by a series of courts, including the Supreme Court, and are not eligible for the protection of Australia.
Priya and Nadesalingam settled in the Queensland community of Biloela after arriving by boat in 2012 and 2013.
The family was in Melbourne until last Thursday for long-term immigration.
THE IMMIGRATION CASE OF THE TAMIL FAMILY
Nades and Priya arrived in Australia separately by boat in 2012 and 2013.
They received temporary bridging visas and had two children here, Kopika, four and Tharunicaa, two.
The couple moved to the rural town with a population of 6,000. Nades worked at Woolworth's trolleys and later at the meat factory.
The family was loved by many locals by volunteering in St Vincent De Paul and cooking curries for the hospital.
Their visa application was rejected by a department and appeals to the court have all failed.
They were detained in Melbourne, where Tharunicaa's teeth rot due to vitamin deficiency.
Priya had fled from Sri Lanka to India in 2001 before traveling to Australia. Nades had traveled overseas several times while in Sri Lanka.
In a statement last December, Mr. Dutton said: & # 39; They are foreigners who paid smugglers to bring them to Australia illegally and have no legitimate reason to get a visa to stay here. & # 39;
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