I’ve just had dinner with a friend who is in the process of trying to get permanent residency. He’s been here for a year and wants to stay. Sadly he’s finding it very difficult and a part of the process has just been denied which means he has to find an alternative way to stay.

While I love that Australia is fairly strict with it’s immigration laws I think we need to rethink some parts of our approach. We have people in desperate need of safety being told they will never be settled here, even with valid refugee status because they tried to get here by boat. If that is the only way they can escape the danger they are fleeing, why punish them?

My friend has held down a professional job and not even remotely hinted at scamming the system to stay or not pay his way. His English language skills are better than some people born and raised here as “proper Aussies”. It seems highly unfair that he is struggling to stay when people with far less to contribute to society get to stay because of family ties.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for him.

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