Commission appeals for support for man facing deportation
Brisbane's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission is calling for support for a Brisbane father of four who faces deportation by the Immigration Department.
The 42-year-old man, George Andary, faces return to Lebanon because he was convicted of several drug-related offences and does not have Australian citizenship.
Mr Andary has been in Australia since the age of four and did not obtain citizenship as an adult because he assumed he obtained Australian citizenship as a child.
The Commission's Executive Officer, Peter Arndt, has been in regular communication with Mr Andary for over a year and is concerned that Mr Andary, his partner, Barbara, and his four children face a long period of emotional distress as they await a decision from the Immigration Minister on George's fate.
"I know how much he loves his children and how badly they have suffered because of their prolonged separation from their father and the great uncertainty about his future," he said.
George Andary became a drug addict and got involved in drug-related crimes as a result. He served several prison sentences for these crimes, but he is now fully rehabilitated.
"George fully accepts his time in jail for his crimes, but he found it difficult to spend almost three more years in detention because he is not a citizen and the Immigration Department regarded him as a person of bad character," Mr Arndt said.
"George has been in detention since 2002, separated from his children, while the Immigration Department awaits a decision on whether Lebanon would take George back," he said.
The Commission has written to the Minister for Immigration, Senator Vanstone, asking that George be allowed to stay in Australia and become a citizen. It is asking Catholics to also write to the Minister in support of George.
Mr Arndt stressed that it was important that letters are not sent directly to the Minister, but, rather, to Mr Andary's lawyer.
Commission Appeals for Support for Man Facing Deportation (Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane 25/7/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Archdiocese of Brisbane | The Case of George Andary
'Australian' ex-prisoner fights deportation bid (The Age 11/10/04)
25 Jul 2005