Jordan King Lacroix

Tamil family will stay until Friday, political point-scoring will continue

Labor’s Anthony Albanese has openly supported the plight of the Tamil family from Biloela. But doing so rings a trifle hollow.

 

 

Never has it been more apparent that the Labor Party are setting up Anthony “Albo” Albanese as “prime minister material” than when Albo tweeted his support over the weekend for the Tamil family that Morrison’s government is trying to deport.

The family, who are asylum seekers who settled in the Queensland town of Biloela and whose two children were born in Australia, is currently imprisoned on Christmas Island with the intent of forcing them out of the country. A court ruling today will see them here until “at least Friday”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that Albanese is calling on the Prime Minister, and by extension Immigration Minister David Coleman, to intervene in the family’s case.

The Prime Minister has refused to step in, saying that he cannot “in good conscience” allow the family to stay, backing Peter Dutton’s comments amounting to much of the same rhetoric. Lucky for the family, however, former deputy prime minister and running joke Barnaby Joyce has spoken up in support of them, so surely they’ll be fine.

 

So glad this poor family – whose children were ripped from their lives and placed in a camp by the government that is supposed to protect them – has the support of the new Labor golden boy, steering a party that actively supports our border policy as it stands.

 

“That’s not how you run strong borders,” the Prime Minister said. “I do understand the real feeling about this and the desire for there to be an exception but I know what the consequences are of allowing those exceptions.”

What the Prime Minister means, of course, is that allowing this family to stay – a family who have been readily accepted by their Australian neighbours and whose children were born here – would send a message to people smugglers in Sri Lanka that Australia is weak and that they’ll come by the boatful to this nation. A narrative they only ever bring up when it’s convenient, despite the fact that most “illegal” immigrants arrive by plane and overstay their visas, and that seeking asylum is not illegal at all.

 


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So glad this poor family – whose children were ripped from their lives and placed in a camp by the government that is supposed to protect them – has the support of the new Labor golden boy, steering a party that actively supports our border policy as it stands.

These people cannot be elevated for calling on the government to do what is empirically the right thing. They do not deserve pats on the back. And do not think that they wouldn’t be saying the exact opposite if they didn’t think it would score them points.

 

 

If the people of Biloela – and Australian society at large – had not come out in support of this family, then the Joyce and Albo and the rest of them wouldn’t really be calling on the government to do anything.

The Labor and Liberal parties are both guilty of supporting the policies that snared Nadesalingam, Priya, Kopika and Tharunicaa in the first place.

Thanks for protesting against the hangman, but you built the damn gallows.

 

 

 

 

 

Jordan King Lacroix

Jordan King-Lacroix was born in Montreal, Canada but moved to Sydney, Australia when he was 8 years old. He has achieved a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney and McGill University, Canada, as well as a Masters of Creative Writing from the University of Sydney.

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