Clifford Tucker, born in England, came to Australia when he was six years old. He has, in the past, been a violent type of person not many would care to go for a beer with. He also suffers from mental health problems. He once tried to kill a policeman, amongst other crimes, and has served time in prison for them. He has paid the penalty. He says he has not commited a violent crime for ten years.
Now, this government has deported Mr. Tucker – who should be a free man able to spend his life freely with his wife and children. In this free country, they give the reason for his deportation is that he is of “bad character”. How many people are there in Australia with a bad character? How about we start with Australia’s serial killers, gangsters and fraudsters. Mr. Tucker’s crimes are far less serious than those of these people, although still very serious. One reason and one reason alone separates them. That is, Mr.Tucker never obtained a certificate to say he is an Australian.
This matter is worse than the case of England sending its convicts to Australia. The deportation of those wretched souls was the punishment. They did not serve a lengthy jail term before they were deported to the other side of the world because they were of “bad character”. The deportation was their sentence.
Surely, once the sentence has been served, then the person should be able to live a normal life like any one of us. If one of us gets nabbed for, say, speeding, we pay a fine and forget it. Imagine six months later, there is a knock on the door and a policeman says I don’t like you, you are of bad character and therefore we are going to impound your vehicle now, in addition to the fine you have already paid. I am pretty sure we would see the injustice of that and yet this is the same way Mr. Tucker is being treated.
Furthermore, if he applies, and is successful, in obtaining an Australian visa, or citizenship he will then also be charged for the jail term and the deportation costs (the cost of airfare for himself and the three guards who accompanied him, reported to be around $14,000). This man will then have been punished three times for the same crime. Prison, deportation and a heavy fine. Is this Sanity? Or overkill?