Eid­son kept in Cairns as de­por­ta­tion looms

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Shane Ni­chols

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

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