Tuesday, February 25, 2014


That's the only way to describe Immigration's attempts to deport a severely ill Tongan woman back to a disaster zone:

A member of the Tongan Advisory Council says that deporting Tongan overstayers with medical conditions back to the islands devastated by Cylone Ian is "sending them to die".

An illegal immigrant from an area of Tonga ravaged by Cyclone Ian is facing deportation, despite a heart complaint and a doctor's warning not to fly.

The woman's husband of 24 years has already been deported and now she faces the same fate. They come from the Ha'apai area where more than half the 8000 population were made homeless by last month's cyclone and most of the crops were wiped out.

The woman has heart and thyroid conditions which are severe enough that doctors recommend she does not fly. She will not be able to receive treatment for those conditions on Ha'apai, which means deportation is effectively a death sentence. Which seems to be a prima facie violation of the right not to be deprived of life affirmed in the BORA.

Civilised countries don't kill people, or deport people back to disaster zones to die. We are meant to be a better country than this. We should let this woman stay.