Australia cedes to Tamil family, but does not allow them to return | Refugees News

The Murugappans have been placed in “community detention” in Perth – thousands of miles from their home – as the youngest girl battles a deadly infection.

Australia says it will allow Tamil family of four to leave immigrant detention on remote Christmas Island, but instead of allowing them to return to their homes in Queensland, will place them in ‘community detention’ in the western city of Perth, some 4,000 kilometers (2,485 miles) away.

The Murugappans, whose two children were born in Australia, were sent to Christmas Island, an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, after parents Nades and Priya’s claims for asylum were rejected, and as the courts considered their legal appeals and the situation of their youngest daughter, Tharunicca.

Their plight was put in the spotlight again last week after the three-year-old had to be medically evacuated at a Perth hospital due to a serious blood infection that allegedly developed from untreated pneumonia.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, who did not mention the family by name, said that in making his decision he “balanced the government’s continued commitment to strong border protection policies with a appropriate compassion in circumstances involving children in detention “.

Angela Fredericks, a friend of the Murugappans who led the campaign for their return, said that while the news that the family would be reunited was welcome, they should be allowed to return to Biloela.

“Community detention is no guarantee of security and peace for this family,” Fredericks said in a statement. “Nades wants to go back to work in Biloela to support her young family, Priya wants to enroll Kopika in Biloela public school to continue her studies, and we promised little Tharni a big birthday party on her return. at home. Australia knows this family’s home is in Biloela.

The family of four were suddenly taken from their homes in an early morning raid by immigration officials in March 2018, and sent to an immigrant detention center in Melbourne, the second largest city in Melbourne. Australia. Their case sparked a nationwide outcry in a country known for its uncompromising approach to asylum seekers and refugees, send thousands of people who have tried to arrive by sea to “offshore processing centers” and telling them that they will never be allowed to settle in the country.

The treatment of the family has sparked outrage in Australia where the right-wing government is known for its intransigent immigration policies [File: James Ross/EPA]

Nadesalingam and Priya, who are Tamils ​​from Sri Lanka, arrived separately by boat in 2012 and 2013 and applied for asylum. They met and married in Australia, but were detained after Priya’s visa expired.

“The government would not remove the family from detention this week if Tharunicca had not fallen seriously ill,” Michelle Grattan of the University of Canberra wrote in Conversation. “To the extent that the government is compassionate now, it is compassion motivated by the bad publicity it suffers from. “

Writing on Twitter, Opposition Leader Antony Albanese recalled his visit to Biloela in 2019 and the community’s love for the young family: “It was clear to me that this family should be allowed to go from HomeToBilo. Let’s just do it. he said.

Queensland State Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has also shown support for the family.

“It is far from Biloela where their friends and neighbors have campaigned for so many years for their freedom,” she said in a statement. “Biloela is a community of 6,000 inhabitants. Everyone knows each other and takes care of each other. I look forward to the day when the family can return to Bilo.

In October 2019, the United Nations asked Australia to allow the family to stay and gave the government 30 days to comply.

Home Secretary Karen Andrews last week said the government was exploring “resettlement options” for the family, but in a third country rather than Australia.

Although born in Australia, Tharunicca and Kopika are not entitled to Australian nationality by birth.

An attempt to deport the family was made in August 2019 after their asylum claims were rejected, but a Federal Court judge granted a last-minute injunction forcing their plane, en route to Sri Lanka, to land in Darwin. Their legal action continues.

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