Alan Jones, Hakeem Al-Araibi Urge Morrison To Save Tamil Family
Radio host Alan Jones and refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi are among those calling on the PM to intervene and allow a Tamil family facing deportation to stay in Australia.
Priya, her husband Nadesalingam and their two Australian-born daughters Kopika, 4, and Tharunicaa, 2, have been granted a temporary reprieve on their deportation until 4pm on Wednesday.
A Federal Court judge on Friday extended an injunction preventing Tharunicaa from being deported to Sri Lanka, with lawyers arguing she has never been assessed for a protection visa.
Radio host Alan Jones is part of a growing chorus of voices urging Prime Minister Scott Morrison to intervene and let the family stay, calling it a "shameful chapter of the Morrison government".
"I don't care what these people might or mightn't have done," Jones said on his 2GB and 4BC radio shows.
"They've killed no one, they've bludged off no one, they've offended no one. And they're treated in this way in my country, your country.
"The monsters here are government."
He said he's written to both Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton about the family, but has not heard back.
Refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi is urging Morrison to intervene as the Australian government did when he was detained in Thailand for two months.
"They come to Australia to get protection here. Please Mr Morrison, please stop this from happening, as you helped me before in Thailand," he said from Melbourne airport, where the family was flown from on Thursday night.
"I feel for this family. How they're scared, how they feel about their future for their daughters. Please, Mr Morrison, stop this from happening."
Priya and Nadesalingam arrived in Australia separately by boat in 2012 and 2013, fleeing conflict in Sri Lanka. They moved to the small Queensland town of Biloela and started their family; their daughters were both born in Australia.
In March last year, immigration officials removed them from their home and transported them to detention in Melbourne, prompting a Change.org petition from Biloela residents urging the government to let them stay. More than 200,000 people have so far signed the petition.
#HomeToBiloela began trending on Friday, with politicians, advocates, lawyers, unions and other key figures urging the government to allow the family to stay.
The family has been facing uncertainty over their future ever since, with two separate deportation efforts halted by last-minute legal intervention.
The latest, from early Friday morning, involved a Federal Circuit court judge granting a last-minute injunction after their Sri Lanka-bound plane was already in the air, forcing it to land in Darwin.
The injunction was extended later on Friday due to Tharunicaa, 2, never having been assessed for a protection visa.
The family will find out their fate about 4pm next Wednesday.
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