NO GUIDANCE

Posted by SCA on  October 10, 2019 |
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999 words – a quick read

I finally received a “reply” from Immigration Minister, David Coleman’s office at 2 October – if one can call what I received a reply.  I had sent the Minister a substantive and personal correspondence of considerable detail on 15 August because, contrary to the advice of our Federal Member, Andrew Wallace, and the Minister himself (or at least whoever he’s tasked to “reply on his behalf”, as quoted) we have been unable to seek the Minister’s DISCRETION against an application for permanent residency because we cannot – literally – submit the application.

Both Coleman and our Federal Member Wallace informed us that only the Minister could attend a review of our broader merit – but first we had to submit the application for permanent residency – because only the Minister (by law) may consider other details and facts otherwise defined as merit; which no one else and no other parties, parts within department responsible for process can consider what is not ticked, flicked or otherwise rendered in a box; in short, where one hopes to find the Minister’s good graces (there is no guarantee Coleman will even choose to review one’s broader merits)  and more pointedly, still – his discretion; coming as that discretion would, after a frankly torturous application process one must first travel the long conveyor belt through application process and department, be spat out or otherwise rejected, pass through the AAT and then be referred to the desk of Minister Coleman – where one has not been defeated and gone home – which we would, but we are home.

But to seek DISCRETION one must first actually submit that application; even to find it rejected, in order for the applicaiton to find its way to his desk… and we cannot even submit our application.  The Department of Home Affairs – whom cynics claim don’t just frame the department but run it – manages the “application process” through the Home Affairs “ImmiAccount” – an online portal administered by Home Affairs by which applications are now submitted.  Where one fails to answer in accordance with computationally approved analytics the application cannot proceed forward.  DEATH BY ERROR MESSAGE. Dystopian.

I had written this profoundly personal, accurate and specific 15 August letter to Coleman detailing this very point and our urgent, desperate, dire need for the Minister to lift a phone or inform a human that someone wanted to submit an application in three dimensions, in such a way that due process was not denied.  My reply from Coleman at 2 October: I got tech support.  As I once said to Minister Coleman, the comment having come back to stoically counsel me as I type, “Death by analytic noose is not the better handiwork of leadership.”  Boy, was that line prescient.

In my agonisingly personal, painful and honest letter of 15 August I outlined in depth the problem (at least this particular part of the problem without end) and my advocate efforts for a disabled little boy and our family, so grossly excluded within Australia – a nation our greater living family legally and literally call home, just as Australia is the place our  descendants have called home for centuries.  My letter of 15 August to David Coleman pointedly and unequivocally asked the Minister to attend what is called “ministerial DIRECTION” (not “ministerial DISCRETION” which all would say is ‘not allowed’ until the end bit) to the immigration department to allow our application for a permanent residency visa to be allowed to find the minimum dignity and existential reality of actually being submitted – because Coleman alone has the legislative (legal) authority to consider our broader and true merit to be allowed to exist in a state of legal permanence in Australia.

My “reply” to the letter from Minister Coleman’s office (link: home-affairs) forms the last half of this article.  Where the reader manages to get through Mr. Coleman’s letter I hope one will find it as disgusting, inhumane and frankly barking mad as I did, when I read it, reread it and continue to occasionally refer to it – when I need to be reminded of how broken the Australian immigration – and in particular the visa component of that system have been let to devolve. My comment will not win me friends but its honest and I’m tired of being perpetually deferential or otherwise obsequious and I’m a dreadful sycophant.  I cannot watch our son sit alone and abandoned and listen to the minister, the federal Liberal party room or the parliamentary executive attend to the humanity within this nation as if they are a mob to be tricked or otherwise chagrinned into a society now so legally unbalanced that the very notion of equity – to say nothing of equality  – is nonsense and in fact legally enshrined under John Howard as a kind of sickness made virtue.

The reply from (or at least authorised) by David Coleman, said the ‘tech support team’ had ‘reviewed our account’ and “identified an error message” as the result of “incomplete data.”  That is, of course, largely and ultimately referring to our crippled son who is not graced a medical exemption and is thus found analytically rejected by a system that’s monetised his humanity for worth and found him wanting – and by proxy his family who have not abandoned him.  Where such capacity to affect the “allowable” entry to the “ImmiAccounts” digital mandate our crippled son should stay in the shadows or his family be made to slouch back to wherever they “came from” only we’re from here.

In short, for the sins of our service to a vulnerable child with no other home but Australia we are quite, inexorably, digitally, and perpetually screwed – or in the words of David Coleman (or the Director of IP&RSI&SSG that was asked to reply at David Coleman’s behest), we are guilty of “incomplete data entry.”  Good god, Coleman, is there a heart in your chest or is it all digital now?

One confronts yet another existential crossroads where government acts as a disrupter; quietly using a bizarre but clearly effective tactic in which employees of the Minister’s office convey no humane or reasonable reply – only what can, at best, be called “static” used in service as a means by which to drive us to surrender our efforts to enshrine our otherwise permanent place within our familial and ancestral Australia. We refuse to give up our disabled son whose disability has been found a kind of “value added threat” fit for exclusion by the ‘modern’ Australian Liberal Government and the visa policy of this nation that same Government oversee.  The same Government which does indeed possess the perfectly legal authority to exorcise ministerial discretion – if only they’d allow us to even submit our application, a point clarified herein – if you don’t already know our struggle.  We continue our efforts to achieve meaningful remedy but even the modest hope for meaningful dialogue remains, as yet, really quite unfulfilled, with the Government who currently lead the same Commonwealth our family have historically served, developed, fed, financed and sheltered since long before federation.

I have written David Coleman, many times, in his role as the Minister for Immigration – at least he is the face of the Immigration Ministry though it remains very much within Home Affairs and has no independent digital portal or autonomy – and Peter Dutton remains the authoritarian minister of Home Affairs. I should also note, that I have never personally heard from Minister Coleman – ever but I’ve gotten used what I politely call “default” reply memos from his office.  Most recently I sent Minister Coleman an impassioned, honest and deeply personal letter about our family – a substantive, reasonable and quite desperate plea for his help. The letter can be found here, on this blog, methinketh.com and is titled GROWING UP TO BE DEPORTED IN THE LAND OF THE GREEN & GOLD.  The article itself, a reply to yet another piece of correspondence from the Minister’s office, though cut and paste that speaks to no genuine reply is a generous definition of the word correspondence.

The current reply from Minister Coleman’s office, issued at 2 October 2019 (link: home-affairs), can be described, at best, as failing to address my question that my household be allowed to submit our application for permanent residence, that it not be automatically rejected by online analytics used by the department to shut people down from effective due process.  I would also call the reply from the ministers office insincere, dismissive, incongruous, and if it was not so distressing and disrespectful I would call it funny – but there is no humour in such expressions by someone tasked with leadership that so fails to engage.  The letter from David Coleman (at least the one he allegedly directed to be sent; the sender, only referenced as IP&RSI&SSG Director, indicates they’d replied to me at the request of Minister Coleman.  Again, a link to the letter has been posted here: home-affairs

My reply to the the Minister’s “letter”, follows:

11 October 2019

AN OPEN LETTER VIA ELECTRONIC DELIVERY TO:

The Hon David Coleman MP
Federal Member for Banks
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

Ref No: MC19-016543

Dear Minister Coleman,

I received your reply of 2 October 2019, in reply to my letter of 19 August 2019. To be precise, the letter from your office was not from you and was signed, though not personally attributed to anyone – just a signature and the title, ‘Director, Immigration Performance and Resourcing Section Immigration and Settlement Services Group.’

I’m not sure what ‘Immigration Performance and Resourcing Section Immigration and Settlement Services Group’ is,  although I did endeavour to research it – to no avail.

I read the letter with great enthusiasm, an emotion that declined with decremental sensation, until I finished the letter and found that, unfortunately, the reply from your IP&RSI&SSG Director had  not answered my singular question or really any question at all. And so I again seek your attention, though I fear I may once more be relegated to the un-named IP&RSI&SSG Director.

My family are legally segregated in Australia. Sometimes I suspect it would be easier for your Government if we just gave up and left Australia but it’s our home, we have no other home – and we’d like your help in enshrining our otherwise permanent place in country – legally.

We had hoped our earnest letter of 19 August 2019 would strike a chord, but it appears to have accorded no such strike. A permanent residency visa is our only hope of finding the surety of legal inclusion within Australia, specifically the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) (New Zealand) stream. 

It’s strange to think that even under the vagaries that were the White Australia Policy, my biracial family would be allowed citizenship after 15 years – if we were all European, which was simple code for white  (as the legislation read until 1966), we’d be allowed citizenship after 5 years in those pre Holt years.  Harold Holt, that genuinely liberal leader of the Liberal party made sure anyone, irrespective of race, disability or nation of ancestry who authentically made Australia home was indeed allowed to be quite legally defined as home, as a citizen – after 5 years. Today we must live in segregated exile and our children, Maya and Dylan, after living the entirety of their lives in Australia from ages 1 and 2, respectively, will be quite effectively and unceremoniously deported as adults – where they don’t “voluntarily self-deport”.  How far the doctrine of true liberal values has been allowed to fall. Shame on you.

Our son has been diagnosed with a disability, following our settlement in the nation of our broader Australian family and centuries of ancestors. Our permanent resident visa mandates a medical exemption certificate for our son; but his disability is found to be undeserving for a medical waiver because it has been monetised – our son, Dylan’s life, has been effectively found ‘not of value’ and thus undesirable. We therefore can not get past the digital portal the Government insists we use to submit the application enshrining our otherwise permanent place in Australia via what is called the Home Affairs online “ImmiAccount.”  I don’t need “tech support”, (as your reply suggests), I need someone with small “l” liberal values to engage our family.

A medical exemption is a requested piece of detail we cannot provide. We can therefore not submit the application online where the analytics of the “immiAccount” forbid us from submitting the application where no exemption is available. Where we cannot submit the visa; even where it is denied, we can not avail a legislatively enshrined desire for you to review our case on broader merit – a case that is very much in the public interest and currently analytically destroying a genuine Australian family. We can also not go home because home is Australia. We need your help and wish to submit the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) (New Zealand) stream application manually; much as that may cause your IP&RSI&SSG Director, who appears to speak for the digital “ImmiAccount”, much consternation.

We are very tired Minister Coleman. We are very tired and our children’s mental and physical health are suffering terribly from the direct result of your Government’s abandonment of our quite authentically Australian family.  We are, in short, not getting a fair go.

Everything has a price, every – thing – I just don’t think the very real human lives of people in Australia should be monetised like things.

I await your reply and wish you and your staff a very fine weekend,

Scott Anderson

10 October 2019

Sippy Downs, Queensland

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