Irish expat couple in Oz facing deportation due to son’s illness

Published:  10 Jun at 6 PM
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An Irish expat couple who first emigrated to Australia 10 years ago are about to be deported because their three-year old son has cystic fibrosis.

Anthony and Christine Hyde came to Australia in 2009 and settled in Seymour, Victoria, where their son Darragh was born. At the time of his diagnosis of cystic fibrosis, the couple were applying for permanent residency, but were refused as his potential treatment would represent a burden for the state’s taxpayers. His parents appealed the decision, with a hearing last month finding the case meets the necessary criteria allowing a ministerial intervention. With just over a week to go before the deportation order is carried out, nothing has been heard from the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

Darragh’s father drives a bus part time, and his mother works as assistant principle at a local primary school. The couple have now set up a petition urging local people to support their appeal and help the family to stay in the country. At present, 67,000 people have signed in the hope the deportation order can be stopped, and the expat family’s plight has caused consternation across the country. It seems Australia’s immigration department has more sympathy for convicted criminals whose visas have expired than it does for a three-year old child with a manageable disease, as over 30 criminals including sex offenders, drug traffickers, armed robbers and a wife murderer have been allowed to stay after an appeal.

Also, research shows only one third of deportation orders were affirmed between 2017 and 2018, with two-thirds being allowed to stay in spite of their criminal records and time served. Amongst those whose deportation orders were reversed are a Chinese triad gang member imprisoned for 13 years for drug trafficking, a man who killed his wife in front of one of their children and a convicted sex offender. The Irish family’s case is now back with the authorities in the hope deportation can be avoided by an official intervention.
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