Australian minister refers to 'anchor baby' in Tamil deportation row

In a photo taken on Sept 4, people protest outside the Federal Court in Melbourne, where a hearing in a case has temporarily spared a Tamil family of four - including two Australian-born toddlers - from deportation and fuelled a political firestorm.
In a photo taken on Sept 4, people protest outside the Federal Court in Melbourne, where a hearing in a case has temporarily spared a Tamil family of four - including two Australian-born toddlers - from deportation and fuelled a political firestorm.PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (DPA) - The two-year-old Australian-born child of a Tamil family trying to claim asylum in Australia was labelled an "anchor baby" by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on Thursday (Sept 12).

Mr Dutton has repeatedly said he is determined to send the Tamil family of four back to Sri Lanka as they have been found not to qualify for refugee status.

But last-minute court appeals on behalf of the toddler have resulted in the family's deportation being delayed.

Lawyers will appeal for the child to be allowed to stay at a court hearing on Wednesday, arguing her refugee status has not been assessed by the government.

Mr Dutton said the family's fight for Australian protection had cost taxpayers "literally millions of dollars".

"It's been made very clear to them at every turn that they were not going to stay in Australia and they still had children," Mr Dutton told Sydney radio station 2GB, Australian Associated Press reported.

"We see that overseas in other countries - anchor babies, so-called - and the emotion of trying to leverage a migration outcome based on the children," he added.

 
 

The term "anchor babies" has been used in derogatory fashion in the United States, where babies born in the country acquire US citizenship.

This is not the case in Australia, where babies born to foreigners are given the same visa as the parents.