16 February, 2021
Tamil family's visa rejection unfair, court rules
Court decision on appeal to Thamil family's fate decided today.
IT'S BEEN almost a year since Federal Court ruled that Tharnicaa had been denied procedural fairness when applying for a protection visa.
She is the youngest daughter of Priya and Nades Nadesalingam, and their family has been in detention for over 1,000 days.
The Government appealed the Federal Court's decision, and today at 9 am, the Court upheld the original ruling, calling the Government's behaviour ‘Kafkaesque’.
While the ruling is a win for the family, the battle is far from over.
They will remain on Christmas island where they have been since 2019, sitting ‘in Limbo’ as to whether they will be returned to the mainland or deported.
Justice Mark Moshinsky made the original ruling last year when Immigration Minister David Coleman decided not to act on a brief given to him by the Home Affairs department.
The brief asked him to lift the bar and allow Tharnicaa a visa application.
Under the Migration Act, 1958 unlawful maritime entrants or their children cannot apply for a visa and require the Minister himself to grant an exception.
The Federal Government has now spent over $6m on detaining the family yet alone legal fees.
The family’s lawyer Carina Ford told ABC Radio if they had lost the case that it was very likely that the family would have been deported to Sri Lanka.
She added that due to the publicity surrounding the family they would be at great risk [returning to Sri Lanka].
Tamil persecution in Sri Lanka is well documented.
In a statement, Priya and Nades said, “Thank you to everyone in Australia for the support and love that they have shown us".
“We are very grateful. It helps us stay strong," they said.
“We just want to go back to Biloela.
“We need our little girls to be safe.
“Every day, they ask, ‘When can we go home?’.”