Just to show that inhumane, hypocritical and empathy-free attitudes on immigration matters are not confined to Australia, here is a story from the USA about the Iraqi parents of a man murdered while working in a liquor store in San Diego, who have been denied a visa into the USA to attend his funeral “because there was no guarantee the parents would return to Iraq” afterwards.
Having said that, the inhumane and pointlessly messy way the Australian government is handling the Robert Jovicic case shows that any talk about an improvement in the ‘culture’ of the Department of Immigration is still not showing many signs of being matched by reality.
Robert Jovicic is the man who lived for 36 years in Australia, having come here as a two year old, but who then was deported from the country on character grounds and sent to Serbia, where he had never lived, did not have citizenship, and did not speak the language.
Having finally been allowed by our government to return to Australia – following a significant amount of public pressure –Mr Jovicic has only been given a temporary visa for four weeks with strict conditions attached – “including keeping the Department of Immigration advised of where he’s living and being required to report to Immigration and police officers. And despite ongoing health problems, the visa also cuts off his access to Medicare”.
Amazingly, the Australian government is also reported to have “encouraged him to seek citizenship of Serbia, as an act of good faith”!