We are writing to express our feelings of despair and helplessness as parents when our son was deported from Australia after having served 19 months of his four year sentence for fraud from Melbourne about five years ago.

We have always strongly condemned what he did and do not in anyway question his sentence as he deserved to be punished for what he did. We came to Australia in 1988 and our son was only fourteen and indeed at a very impressionable age when he started going to school in Perth.

He got into bad company at school and started skipping classes and as usual when he was in school as parents we were not aware that he was missing classes; the school did not inform us of this and of course as new migrants we were busy working hard to settle down.

He also got married here and had a son born in Australia whom he has not seen since his first birthday. Dr Haneef’s deportation has brought back memories of my son for whom we could not do anything.

We only knew of his deportation a few days before he was deported to India where he is all alone as his immediate family that is father, mother and sister are here and his son is in New Zealand.

Before he was deported, we as parents went to meet the immigration officer in Perth but were told that we could not appeal on his behalf and were told that my son had to appeal, but we could not contact him as he was being held in the prison in Melbourne. He was taken straight to the Airport from there and put on a flight to India.

We have suffered in silence as parents and often wonder whether he got justice from the Immigration Minister. My son did the crime here so he should have served the entire sentence in Australia.

But the Immigration Department should have taken into account that the boy had lived in Australia for over ten years and was here on permanent residency visa. He came here when he was only fourteen.

We feel he has been punished twice. For one crime he has been jailed and then deported to India, the country which he left at a young age. He has no family there.

We are here and are aware that there are people in this society who are far more dangerous than a conman; certainly he did not deserve to be kicked out of the country like this.

We are getting old and are on pension and this overreaction by the Immigration Department is eating us. I feel the Immigration Department has divided our family and not a day goes by when we don’t think of our son.

We all deserve a second choice but in this case sadly he did not get any.

Peter Fray

Help us keep up the fight

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and support our journalists’ important work of uncovering the hypocrisies that infest our corridors of power.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today and get your first 12 weeks for $12.

Cancel anytime.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW