Tamil refugee family held in immigration detention for more than 1,000 days could be released as they fight deportation
A family of Tamil asylum-seekers being held on Christmas Island could soon be released into community detention
A family of Tamil asylum-seekers being held on Christmas Island could soon be released into community detention.
Priya, Nades and their two young daughters have been kept in immigration detention centres for more than 1,000 days.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews has indicated the family could be released into the community while their claims for protection go through the courts.
‘The welfare of that family on Christmas Island is clearly an issue that I have turned my mind to,’ she told ABC radio on Wednesday.
‘I am seeking advice on that at the moment and I will continue to seek advice.’
Ms Andrews said the family was being very well supported in detention.
‘In terms of other accommodation that may be available to them on Christmas Island, that’s an ongoing discussion that I am having with our officials,’ she said.
‘I will make a response in the not too distant future.’
Kopika (right) and Tharunicaa, the daughters of the Biloela Tamil family at the detention centre on Christmas Island
In a separate interview, Ms Andrews was asked whether she felt compassion for the Biloela family.
‘I am a very compassionate person by nature. I will never walk away from that. But compassion takes many different forms,’ she told ABC News.
As the home affairs minister, Ms Andrews could intervene and grant the family protection, allowing them to return to their adopted home in central Queensland.
But she has been reluctant to step in while the legal case remains afoot.
‘The matter is currently before the courts, so there is nothing I am prepared to say or do at this point in time that would either jeopardise the positions of the government or of the family concerned,’ Ms Andrews said.
‘So, at this point, it is a wait and see what the results are through the court systems.’
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews has indicated the family could be released into the community while their claims for protection go through the courts