Immigration Minister Mr. Tony Burke states he will look sympathetically at the request for an elderly woman to stay in Australia after an emotional plea from her family. The immigration officials have denied permanent residency for the 75 year-old Ms. Jean Goldblatt, who moved from South Africa to Perth to stay with her three children 11 years ago.
Ms Goldblatt was diagnosed with dementia 4 years ago and placed in an aged-care facility. Her daughter Mrs. Nina Waltman says she has now been declared as a burden on taxpayers and is ordered to return to South Africa.
Mrs Waltman says the only family who is capable of caring for her mother, including her brother and sisters are living in Perth. Her mother has 6 grandchildren in Perth who want her to stay with them as she has played a vital role in their upbringing. Mrs Waltman said, “It scares me because there is nobody there who can look after her.”
Ms Goldblatt does have an elderly sister who is suffering from cancer herself.
Mrs Waltman said, “I do not know how the system works here. I have been living here for almost 20 years. I do not even know that South Africa will accept her back.”
“Her passport has also expired. I had to take her last week for finger prints to the Australia Federal Police to apply for a new passport, so at this stage we don’t even have a valid passport for her. I don’t think she is capable of travelling to tell the truth.”
Immigration Minister said he will take a sympathetic approach to this case, and this is not the way he wants the immigration system to work.
“I have asked for a brief on that to be brought to me by the beginning of next week along with an indication to the department that I intend to view that case with sympathetic consideration,” Immigration Minister said. It certainly does not match up with how you would want Australia’s immigration system to be dealing with a dementia patient.