Imagine for moment that as child you’ve grown up in one place for practically all your life, then being told that you’re going to be sent to a foreign country and never to return to your family. That is the story of Clifford Tucker, arriving in Australia as a 6 year old and aged 47 today today facing deportation to Britain as he is not an Australian citizen.
Mr Tucker does have a criminal history where a little more than 10 years ago he assaulted a police office and served out a prison sentence. On a recent holiday to Bali, he answered honesty to immigration officials questions regarding his criminal history and was promptly returned to Australia’s Villawood detention typically used to house illegal asylum seekers.
Following an unsuccessful Federal Court Appeal, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal decided that he poses a risk if he remains in the country even though a psychiatric review recommends that he is a 4% risk of reoffending and is more likely to commit suicide if separated from his three children.
This is a really a question of human rights and if Mr Tucker is indeed a risk as the tribunal believes, then his case should be managed as that of any other Australian citizen. The question of visa status is moot for a man who has spent nearly 90% of his life in one country and for all intents is deemed a citizen outside of official paperwork. Common sense should prevail in this case as it not only impacts the life of Mr Tucker, but the lives of three young Australians who call him ‘dad’.