Australian MP 'hopeful' for Irish family facing deportation

Australian MP feels “hopeful” for Irish family facing deportation after speaking with Immigration Minister.

Australian MP 'hopeful' for Irish family facing deportation

Australian MP feels “hopeful” for Irish family facing deportation after speaking with Immigration Minister.

Damian Drum is backing the Hyde family’s bid to remain in Australia and said Immigration Minister David Coleman will review their case in the next week.

Mr Drum said: “I am waiting for the Minister to get an opportunity to look through the file and that has yet to be done but it will be done probably within the week.

“The Department is compiling all the data and records and getting ready to present that case to the Minister.

“I’ll be in constant contact with the Minister on this one and we are hopeful that we can get a good decision but we are not in a position to make a call on it yet.”

Damian Drum
Damian Drum

Christine and Anthony Hyde’s application for permanent residency was refused because their son Darragh, 3, has cystic fibrosis.

Earlier this month, an Administrative Review Tribunal recommended the case be considered for ministerial intervention.

Unless the Minister intervenes, the family who have lived in Australia for 10 years, face deportation on June 18.

Their local MP Damian Drum is supporting their bid to stay and is lobbying the Immigration Minister on their behalf.

He said: “I spoke to David (Coleman) this morning on this case. The Minister is in a very difficult position here.

This situation where you have people out here on work visas who have children with severe disabilities, there is a real potential that this could cost the country millions of dollars and everyone understands that.

“If the Minister intervenes in this case, it will set a precedent so we have to be very careful."

Despite this, the Nationals MP said he feels “relatively confident” after his conversations with the Minister.

He added: “There’s still a lot of work to be done in relation to all the data that goes into the appeal, all the data that the Hydes need to present. All that data has to find its way from the Department to the Minister.”

Mr Drum was re-elected to the newly formed seat of Nicholls in the recent general election. With the boundaries re-drawn, the Hyde’s home-town of Seymour has become part of his constituency.

The MP said he became involved in the case because the Hydes have such strong support in the area.

He said: “Many people from within the community have been stopping me and saying: ‘Can you help this family?’”

He said the Hydes have proven that “they are making a substantial contribution to our nation.”

Christine works as assistant principal at a local primary school and Anthony works as a bus driver.

An online petition calling for the Hydes to be allowed to remain in Australia has received over 100,000 signatures.

Mr Drum said: “The family has got the backing of the local community –I don’t think there’s any doubt about that.

Darragh Hyde.
Darragh Hyde.

“As local MPs we get lots of requests in this regard and my first answer is always to refuse a letter of recommendation for people that I haven’t met.

“I went against my strict rule in relation to letters of support in this case. I’ve only done that on the back of a strong letter of recommendation from the school where Christine Hyde works.”

The Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews has also thrown his support behind the Hydes saying “They’re effectively Aussies.”

The Labor MP said: “This is a great family. They’ve been SES volunteers and school teachers in their local schools, they’ve have contributed over the past 10 years.

The young boy was born here, some compassion and some common sense (is needed).

“There’ll be some costs for the medical treatment he needs, but there will be so many more benefits to Seymour, to that local community and indeed for all of us.”

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.

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