Thursday, August 9, 2012
Hero soldier with WA family denied visa
Howard Sattler From: PerthNow August 07, 2012 2:19PM
IF YOU want proof that our immigration policies are riddled with hypocrisy and double standards look no further than the case of James Shore.
James, 23, is former British Army soldier who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He saw action and lost several colleagues along the way.
James joined the British army as a 16-year-old fresh from school.
That decision now stands in the way of him gaining residency in Australia.
After more than six years’ active service James resigned and travelled to Western Australia to stay with his mother, Toni Hughes, who is a permanent resident.
No surprise that he fell in love with the place, at which point Toni applied to sponsor James on a family visa.
He was refused on the basis that he had not done further education after leaving school, instead opting for military service.
In effect, the Immigration Department decided to punish him for putting his life on the line.
Consider how many young Afghani and Iraqi men have fled their countries and been accepted as refugees in Australia, having convinced authorities they are at risk of persecution.
Around 70 per cent of them who arrive on boats illegally are allowed to stay.
Not so James, the British war hero, who has lined up a job here but would also be prepared to serve in the WA Police or Australian army were he granted residency.
James has about three weeks before he is forced to return to Britain, where he now has no home.
We have an obligation to ensure that doesn’t happen.
* Howard Sattler hosts the DRIVE program from 3pm weekdays on 882 6PR