Media Release Monday 31 August 2020 At last, a young mother and her toddler are at home with the woman's husband and the little one’s father, after being held in arbitrary administrative immigration detention in Melbourne for more than two years. The mother told SBS media: “We are so happy to see my husband and for us to all be together as a family. We all cried, guards and everyone in the centre.” Pamela Curr, spokesperson for the @HomeSafeWithUs coalition of refugee support groups said it was sudden but welcome news, after years of campaigning for this family. “We in the @HomeSafeWithUs coalition welcome this under-used Ministerial power to free this little girl and mother into the loving arms of family".
“At the stroke of his pen, the Minister can spread similar joy by releasing refugees from administrative detention, including those who have families and friends who are waiting to welcome them home,” Ms Curr said.
Ms Curr outlined the circumstances of two out of 27 known cases of what she said was “totally unnecessary family separation”.
Another young mother was transferred from Nauru two years ago to have her baby. She lives in a community detention house just 12 minutes down the road from the detention centre where her husband has been detained for over a year. The mother and baby have not been able to see him for five months because of visitor restrictions. Both parents have been recognised as refugees.
A father who lives in detention, separated for years from his wife and two sons. He has positive decisions from both the Tribunal and Court but he has never been released. This man is highly respected by staff and detainees in the detention centre. He has not seen his family now for five months.
The Tamil family of four from Biloela currently held in immigration detention on Christmas Island is another obvious case for the Minister’s immediate attention. The community of Biloela has been campaigning for years to bring the family home.
The Biloela sisters were previously in the same detention centre as the little girl released after two years in detention with her mother. Source SBS News.
Many refugees held in detention have families in Australia and are unnecessarily separated from them. For others, the @HomeSafeWithUs coalition has hundreds of beds ready and home hosts willing to help settle people into local communities across Australia. There is a real and viable alternative to keeping refugees in indefinite immigration detention.
“We appeal to the Minister to act immediately to release other refugees into the arms of loving families and welcoming supporters,” Ms Curr said.
The @HomeSafeWithUs coalition of 20 refugee support groups includes the Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project, Grandmothers for Refugees, Rural Australians for Refugees and Refugee Advocacy Network.