TO: IMMIGRATION MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON
Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Dear Minister Morrison,
We urge you to use your discretionary powers as Australia's Immigration Minister to expedite a remaining relative visa for Saacid, whose father Abdi is dying of terminal liver cancer in Darwin. They have not seen each other for 23 years.
With a prognosis of no more than 3 months to live, Abdi's last dying wish is to set his eyes upon his long-lost son Saacid and say goodbye. The last time Abdi and his wife Fatuma saw their son was 23 years ago when Saacid was just 9 years old. They lost one another while fleeing war torn Somalia.
In 2007, the family were miraculously reconnected via telephone when the Red Cross found Saacid living in the world's largest refugee camp in Kenya. Abdi and Fatuma applied for a last remaining relative visa for Saacid and have been waiting in line patiently for four years. Abdi and Fatuma have done all the right things, but time is running out. We plead with you to expedite Saacid's visa so that a dying father may see and know his son.
Why is this important?
The Australian government are aware that Abdi, Fatuma and Saacid have been waiting more than four years, but this was their response:
“…we must finalise applications based on the date order in which they were queued. We do not have capacity to priority process applications ahead of the queue date, regardless of the applicant’s situation”
Abdi and Fatuma have been ‘queuing’ patiently, but with Abdi recently finding out that he is also at risk of sudden death they can't just wait in line for bureaucracy to run its course. Time is running out. This cannot be about bureaucracy or waiting in line, this is about Abdi and Saacid - it's a real human story of a dying father asking for the chance to see his son for the first and last time in 23 years. Abdi wants nothing more than to see the adult that his 9 year old son grew into, and to know him during his last remaining days.
Minister Morrison, you have the power to expedite Saacid's visa --- Abdi, Fatuma, Saacid and all of us who know and love this family ask for you to grant this.
We are the two Red Cross workers who ran the search for Abdi and Fatuma's son and have known the family ever since. Over the years we've spent a lot of time together, so much so that now Fatuma refers to us as her daughters. We know all Abdi and Fatuma's children and grand kids, and they are a lovely family. All of them have become Australian citizens and often talk about how Australia saved them and how much they have loved it here.
Despite having lived an incredibly hard life, Fatuma and Abdi have never lost their ability to care about others and are some of the most inspirational and caring people we know.
Before coming to Australia, Abdi and Fatuma spent 15 years in a refugee camp in Kenya, during which time Fatuma worked for UN agencies and other non-government organisations promoting rights of women, community development and anti-violence programs. Her advocacy work meant the family were often threatened and the UN eventually resettled them in Australia. Upon arrival in Darwin, Abdi and Fatuma established a successful family day care business out of their own home and Fatuma also acted as the Northern Territory representative for the Somali community for many years. The family are highly respected and loved by the Darwin community.
Mr Morrison please allow Abdi and Saacid the chance to know one another and to say goodbye. Please expedite his visa before it's too late, time is running out.
How it will be delivered
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