I agree with the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern; Australia should not be exporting Aussies who have lived here virtually all their lives.
I’m afraid we are becoming a mean-spirited and nasty country that is drifting away from the long-held mantra of a nation where everyone got a fair go.
Like the NZ Prime Minister, I agree that Kiwis who have only been in Australia for a few years and were raised in the Land of the Long White Cloud should be deported ‘home’ if they commit serious crimes and have not become Australian citizens.
But to send back men and women who believe in every possible way that they are Aussies, except for holding a piece of paper that confirms that status, is inhuman and not the type of action a fair and just-minded nation would do.
And it’s not just Kiwis affected by this legislation, as I recently leant when visiting a friend in Eastern Goldfields Regional Prison in Boulder.
The friend – we will call him Fred – came to Kalgoorlie as a young teenager with his parents and brothers and sisters almost 60 years ago.
His parents are buried here, he has married and has four children and a growing band of grandchildren, and he has no one back in the UK from where he came.
Yet that is where he was threatened to be sent unless he could give a public servant in Canberra good reasons why he should stay in Australia upon his release if parole is granted in the near future.
It’s not as if he is a gang leader or head of a drug cartel; his first and only offence involved the taxation.
The legislation was intended to be a deterrent to gang leaders and recidivists, but as always is the case, the bureaucrats are flexing their power and terrorizing good people who were not the intended target. The last I heard, “Fred” won’t be deported, but it will remain hanging over his head.
Public servants never give up whatever power they are given; it would be against human nature to do so and that is why the Minister responsible should ensure people who have lived here most of their lives and who consider themselves Aussies should not be threatened when they have committed only one offence.
It will be the same Minister who says the Lord’s Prayer at the opening of parliament every day that includes the words: “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.”
I’d like to see him practice what he preaches.