Eidson kept in Cairns as deportation looms
LONGSTANDING Julatten resident Patton Eidson is facing an uphill battle to avoid deportation from Australia.
The 73-year-old is under guard in a Cairns hotel where he was taken last week after a raid by nine government officers on his home in Julatten, where has lived since 1986 since arriving in Australia with wife Sonja and daughter Maya under assumed identities.
Mr Eidson is facing deportation after having failed in his latest quest to obtain a visa. In 2012 the American was sen- tenced to two years’ imprisonment for entering Australia under a false identity in 1986.
In April 2016 Immigration Minister Peter Dutton decided Mr Eidson failed to meet “character requirements” to stay in the country due to outstanding arrest warrants in the United States.
“They have had their case comprehensively assessed over many years by the department, the courts, various ministers and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal,” a Department of Immigration and Border Protection spokesperson told AAP.
“Mr Eidson has failed in his bid to obtain a visa, and he has been detained ahead of his removal from Australia.”
His immigration lawyer, Ken Hunt, told his Mossman lawyer Michael Bolt on Tuesday that as Mr Dutton had denied the visa at his discretion, then any move to overturn it, such as a judicial review, was unlikely to succeed.
Mr Eidson’s best hope at the moment is to obtain a W (witness) visa allowing him to stay until October so he can appear in the citizenship hearing for his daughter Maya, who also has faced deportation in recent years. Her citizenship was revoked in April last year.
The outcome of the W visa application may be known in a week or so.
There are fears that Mr Eidson may be removed to a detention centre in Brisbane.
Mr Bolt said Mr Eidson was resigned to being deported to the US.
Though the warrant over drug matters, issued decades ago, still stands, it is perhaps more likely that American authorities may press a case over immigration fraud.
Support by long-term friends of the family – Mrs Eidson died in 2016 – remains strong. PortFM radio has put an interview with Mr Katter on its facebook page, along with a message from Maya updating the situation with her father.
Mr Eidson has failed in his bid to obtain a visa, and he has been detained ahead of his removal from Australia Immigration Dept spokesman
Patton and Sonja Eidson (aka Mike and Anita McGoldrick) in happier times