Frail Navy war hero, 92, faces be­ing de­ported from Aus­tralia

De­men­tia Bri­ton is deemed a bur­den

Daily Mail - - News - By Tom Kelly t.kelly@dai­ly­

A BRI­TISH war vet­eran who has lived in Aus­tralia for a decade is fac­ing de­por­ta­tion at the age of 92 be­cause he is deemed a bur­den on the health sys­tem.

Great-grand­fa­ther James Bradley, who served with the Navy in the Se­cond World War, has launched a last-ditch ap­peal to im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties to ‘have a heart’ and let him stay in the coun­try with his fam­ily.

He went to Aus­tralia with his wife Peg­gie in 2007 to join their daugh­ter and her chil­dren.

They ap­plied for a par­ent visa, which al­lows over-65s to live in the coun­try if their child is an Aus­tralian ci­ti­zen.

Both passed manda­tory health checks at the time, but be­cause of the ex­tended wait for ap­pli­ca­tions to be pro­cessed – some­times up to 30 years – Mr Bradley has now failed the tests as he suf­fers from earlystage de­men­tia and has to walk with a frame.

Im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties told him last year that his visa ap­pli­ca­tion had been re­jected as he was likely

‘He could not sur­vive de­por­ta­tion’

to ‘re­sult in a sig­nif­i­cant cost to the Aus­tralian com­mu­nity’.

‘Con­sid­er­ing my back­ground, I think I’ve been treated shab­bily,’ Mr Bradley told the Syd­ney Morn­ing Her­ald news­pa­per.

‘I’ve waited in a queue for per­ma­nent res­i­dency for ten years, only to be re­jected.

‘I’d like to be able to spend what­ever time I’ve got left here in Aus­tralia with my fam­ily.’

Mrs Bradley, 91, also had her visa re­jected, de­spite be­ing in good health, be­cause the cou­ple came to Aus­tralia as a cou­ple.

In a des­per­ate push for clemency from the im­mi­gra­tion depart­ment, Mrs Bradley went on tele­vi­sion in Aus­tralia to plead for the de­ci­sion to be changed.

‘Have a heart – al­low him to stay,’ she said.

‘He served his coun­try dur­ing the war. Not just for Bri­tain but for Aus­tralia and for all hu­man­ity and mankind.’

She said that, al­though they are old, the cou­ple do ‘ play a part’ and she col­lects her nineyear- old grand­daugh­ter Karis from school most days.

‘We can’t be­lieve that any­one know­ing our his­tory would have grounds for re­ject­ing us,’ she said. The cou­ple’s daugh­ter Sharon Bradley-Town has also writ­ten to Aus­tralian im­mi­gra­tion min­is­ter Peter Dut­ton beg­ging him to over­turn the de­ci­sion.

‘Ev­ery day, the un­cer­tainty around their im­mi­gra­tion sta­tus weighs on dad’s bent shoul­ders like the heav­i­est of in­vis­i­ble sacks,’ she wrote. ‘ He wor­ries ter­ri­bly about what will hap­pen to him and to Peg­gie… when he is gone. He could not sur­vive de­por­ta­tion.’ The cou­ple are among 80,000 peo­ple in Aus­tralia wait­ing for a per­ma­nent par­ent visa. The Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment lim­its the num­ber of par­ent visas avail­able each year, which has led to wait­ing times of up to 30 years be­fore they are ap­proved.

A spokesman for the Depart­ment of Im­mi­gra­tion and Border Pro­tec­tion said the Bradleys’ ap­peal was be­ing con­sid­ered, but de­clined to com­ment fur­ther.

Par­ent visas re­quire spon­sor­ship from an el­i­gi­ble child and ap­pli­cants must be aged 65 or over. Ap­pli­cants are re­quired to sat­isfy health and char­ac­ter re­quire­ments. Aus­tralian mi­gra­tion lawyer Anna Do­bos said: ‘It doesn’t suit any pur­pose to have peo­ple sit­ting in the queue for 20, 30 years.’

Ex­pat: James Bradley with his grand­daugh­ter Karis, nine

Vet­eran: Serv­ing in the Navy

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