An Irish family facing deportation from Australia because their son has cystic fibrosis have been allowed to stay.
Christine and Anthony Hyde and 3-year-old Darragh have been granted residency in Australia after the Immigration Minister David Coleman intervened in their case.
The last minute intervention came after public outcry over the Hyde’s plight with over 120,000 people signing a petition calling for the family to be allowed to stay.
In a blog post last night (Friday), Christine Hyde confirmed that the Immigration Minister had intervened in their case allowing the family to stay
Christine said: “Thank you to everyone who supported us. Late yesterday evening we received the good news that we were granted residency.
Anthony and Christine Hyde’s application for permanent residency had been refused because the Australian government deemed 3-year-old Darragh’s illness to be a burden on taxpayers.
Christine works as assistant principal at a local primary school in Seymour, southern Australian and Anthony works as a bus driver.
The couple appealed their case to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and were given fresh hope when the tribunal recommended their case be considered for ministerial intervention.
The family’s bridging visa was due to expire on June 18th but they were granted an extension until September to allow the Immigration Minister to review their case.
The Hydes, who left Ireland for Australia 10 years ago, received huge support from the local community in Seymour where local politicians rallied behind their bid to remain down under.
Local MP Damian Drum backed the Hyde family’s bid to remain in Australia saying the family had made "a substantial contribution to our nation.”
The Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews also threw his support behind their case saying “They’re effectively Aussies.”
Christine and Anthony Hyde applied for permanent residency in 2015 before Darragh was born.
Shortly after his birth, the toddler was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis and their application was rejected on the basis that his illness would be a burden on the state.
The family argued that Darragh’s condition is mild and have doctors reports to back that up. They also argued that Darragh is Australian born and therefore should not be deported.
“Darragh is Australian –he was born in Australia and has never set foot out of Australia. He’s never been to Ireland. It’s really unfair,” explained Christine.
Initially their application was rejected on the basis that Darragh would require a costly lung transplant but this was struck out after his doctors argued this was extremely unlikely given how mild his condition is
However, the state then deemed the cost of the CF drug Kalydeco which Darragh takes and would cost AUD$300,000 (188,000 euro) per year without state subsidy is a “burden” on taxpayers.
A child born in Australia does not automatically become a citizen unless their parents are already citizens. They cannot apply for citizenship until they are 10 years old.