The Tamil Refugee Council today again criticised the federal government’s immigration laws, following the failure of a Tamil family’s Federal Circuit Court appeal to be granted the right to stay in the country.

Priya, her husband Nades and their two daughters – aged 1 and 3, born in Australia – have now spent more than 100 days detained at Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation in Broadmeadows.

“If this family fails to meet the requirements for protection visas under Australian law, then the law is clearly broken”, Ben Hillier, Tamil Refugee Council spokesperson said. 

“The Department of Home Affairs is overseeing a labyrinthine system designed to make it next to impossible for many people to claim asylum. 

“The government is burying human rights under pages and pages of bureaucratic procedures and legalese. When will it stop?”

Priya and her family fled Sri Lanka in 2000 and Priya came to Australia five years ago. She has not been in the country for 18 years and her family is no longer there. 

Nades faces persecution for his former association with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, which was militarily defeated by the Sri Lankan armed forces in 2009.

Their daughters were born in Australia and do not hold Sri Lankan citizenship, yet they now face the prospect of being deported there if their family’s case is not reviewed.

The Tamil Refugee Council is calling on the Australian government to return Priya, Nades and their daughters, to their home in Biloela, and to give them permanent protection so they can continue building their lives in peace.