Australia

Anthony Albanese indicates support for Nadesalingam family to be issued with permanent visas

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said he sees “no impediment” to the Nadesalingam family receiving permanent visas once the process is complete.

After exhausting their other legal options, the only way the Tamil asylum seeker family can be issued with permanent visas is through the intervention of the Immigration Minister or Home Affairs Minister.

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Speaking to media on Saturday morning, Mr Albanese said it was “heartening” to see the family welcomed home to Biloela on Friday, after the new federal government .
“They received a welcome from a town that wanted them home,” he said.

“This has been an exercise that… Australia can’t be proud of [to see] a family – including two young girls who were born here in Australia – taken in the middle of the night and having four years in detention.”

Mr Albanese noted that on Sunday, the couple’s youngest daughter Tharnicaa will celebrate her fifth birthday – the first she has not spent in detention.
“We are a better country than that. We can do better than that. My government will do better than that,” he said.
He said he foresees no barriers to the issuing of permanent visas to the family.
“Those processes will take place. The only way that it could happen is for the way that it has, the visa being issued, and then that application will go through.

“But I see no impediment to that occurring.”

Nades and Priya are Tamil asylum seekers who fled persecution from Sri Lanka in 2012 and 2013, arriving by boat in Australia.
After making the town of Biloela their home in 2014, the family was removed by Australian Border Force officers from the town in 2018 after Priya’s visa expired.
For the past four years, the couple and their Australian-born daughters Kopika and Tharnicaa have been battling to seek asylum, with the support of a community campaign.

They have never been granted refugee status in Australia.

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The family will officially be welcomed by the Biloela community with the Flourish Festival on Saturday afternoon before celebrating Tharni’s fifth birthday on Sunday.
Family friend and campaigner Angela Fredericks thanked supporters around the country for helping to elevate the family’s plight.
“All they have ever wanted is to just be a family and to just live in safety in our community. So it’s a very joyous moment,” she said on Friday.

“Australians have shown that we care. Australians have shown that we can unite… we can ignore the narrative of fear and division, and we can come together as one.”

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