This is not about ‘queue jumpers’

IF you ever feel like despairing about the cold, soulless, self-involved attitude that many Australians seem to have adopted of late, I have a suggestion: read the comments on a news website.

It’s the quickest way to confirm that Australia has it’s fair share of idiotic narcissists who somehow believe that, because they were born here, they’re entitled to a better existence than those born overseas.

Can in point: immigrants starting a new life in Australia.


Let’s not even discuss the plight of illegal immigrants. I believe that anyone who risks their life and that of their children to board a rickety boat for freedom is obviously desperate.

In my view, they are not queue jumpers – a phrase I detest, because it implies they’re lining up like tourists at Dreamworld and have found a hole in the fence the sneak through – but they are completely out of options and uneducated about the ‘right’ channels to seek asylum.

So, yeah, let’s leave them out of it.

Instead, I want to talk about the people who legitimately immigrate to Australia to start their lives over. People like Malaysian-born Sait Fong Wong and her Chinese-born husband Fook Hua Mok, who have lived on the Gold Coast for five years.

Their three children were born here. But they’re now stuck in a detention facility – along with their children, Karen, 4, Chloe 3, Edmund, 2 – because their bridging visas have run out, and their attempts to apply for subsequent visas or Australian citizenship were rejected.

They have not been “taking local jobs”; on the contrary, they’ve operated several food businesses. Friends say the family have also done everything right, registering their business, paying federal taxes and only accessing healthcare through private insurance.

I sincerely hope this family is granted a permanent visa. I hope they can return to the Gold Coast, so their little girl Karen can begin prep next year at a local school and their family can resume their normal routines.

But a commenter on this story reminds me that not everyone has a compassionate “there but for the grace of God go I” attitude.

“Rules are there and its the same for us if we go to another country,” posted an anonymous ‘local’. “You cannot just stay without the proper visa. Harsh? Yes but its the reality of it. I feel sorry for the kids, but the parents should have found out what they were doing.”

Harsh indeed – and more than a little cruel. Where do you stand on immigration and do you believe Sait and Fook should be allowed to stay?

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