Anya Weti-Safwan, a 36-year-old heroin addict mother has pleaded to Australia not to deport her to New Zealand after being convicted of multiple criminal offenses in Australia.
The mother of one has been in Australia since she was 3 years old but now faces deportation as a result of several criminal convictions. Some of the convictions, including shoplifting and theft charges, date back to as far as 1997.
In 2006, she served nine months jail term. Subsequently, her visa was cancelled and was sent to Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Center where she spent three years. After serving her term in detention, she was handed a bridging visa.
During her time in this detention center, she met Gehad who later became her husband. Weti-Safwanand Gehadhad a daughter who family members took away for proper care.
After her release, Weti-Safwan’s criminal record worsened. From 2010 to 2015, she was hit with several charges. She was sentenced to another three months in prison after which she was sent also another detention center.
A New Dawn and Deportation Claims
Finally, Weti-Safwan started making dramatic changes in her life. She was part of Narcotics Anonymous and saw a methadone program through. She said she has to do the right thing because of what she calls her one and only chance – her daughter.
In 2016, Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia (AAT)overturned the decision to deport Weti-Safwan. Dr. Louise Bygrave, the Tribunal chair, said though Weti-Safwan had a substantial record, the psychological assessment revealed her record to be comparatively minor offending. Her offenses were always dependent on her use of heroin besides her driving offenses according to the Tribunal chair.
The assessment acknowledged that Weti-Safwan can turn her life around particularly in the company of the right people.
A year later, former minister of home affairs, Peter Dutton, said Weti-Safwanis an unacceptable risk of harm to the Australian community and hence should be deported. This left Weti-Safwan angry; she said Dutton kicked in the face after doing all to do the right thing. She took the case to Federal Court of Australia. Unfortunately, Justice Jayne Jagot couldn’t find a hole in Dutton’s decision in a statement released this month.
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