“red tape” = “basic law, as understood by everybody”

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Last updated on June 10th, 2017 at 06:31 am

An Australian family has been torn apart by red tape, according to the Sunday Telegraph:

A Sydney couple who have lived in Australia for 16 years were kicked out of the country yesterday leaving two of their children behind in tears.

Hiki and Mafi Vaingalo sobbed at Sydney airport after handing over their 13-year-old son Keliti and 14-year-old daughter Na’a to relatives.

The Federal Government rejected their last-minute pleas to let them stay in Australia so the family would not be broken up.

Tragic, yes? Until we read this, in the front-page story’s fourth paragraph:

Mr and Mrs Vaingalo met and married in Australia after overstaying on tourist visas …

Umm … where’s the red tape?

Posted by Tim B. on 03/27/2005 at 10:20 AM
    1. Red tape is what prevents getting on with it in general.  In this case by tracking you down, or making you turn up, when things were going fine, just fine.

      Posted by rhhardin on 03/27 at 11:00 AM • permalink


    1. Hey, it’s not like you’re ordering their food stopped or anything, so of course we must protest…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 03/27 at 11:01 AM • permalink


    1. Hiki, Mafi, I believe Iceland is well worth a look for those who have no regard for the law.

      Don’t for to pick up some duty free Jack Daniels on your way ou- Oh. They’ve gone. That’s a shame…

      Posted by Dr. Zoidberg on 03/27 at 03:02 PM • permalink


    1. leaving two of their children behind in tears

      More tragic still is that they left two of their children behind in Australia.

      Posted by Dr. Zoidberg on 03/27 at 03:06 PM • permalink


    1. There should be an amnesty for long-staying illegals, who are well integrated in society (parents work, kids at school).

      The government is overdoing it I reckon. An amnesty would save face on their side, would save millions of dollars and lots of heartache; it’d be the right thing to do.

      Posted by Honkie Hammer on 03/27 at 04:10 PM • permalink


    1. Yes, why bother with all that expensive visa crap! Lets have sharia law instead!
      At least they are not going back to Tuvalu.
      ABC news radio treated us again this morning to a breathless american (or more likely canadian) saying that Tuvalu was going to disappear due to global warming.

      Posted by blogstrop on 03/27 at 04:29 PM • permalink


    1. Our National Broadcaster does not feel any obligation to admit that there are diverging views about global warming AND immigration.
      It does feel obliged to report every demo by the ferals and fellow travellers.

      Posted by blogstrop on 03/27 at 04:31 PM • permalink


    1. What if people honour their original committments on entering the country and go home before their visas expire?
      It may look tough in some cases but if the law is not enforced, what is the point of it? Has anyone suggested dispensing with visas entirely – yes – and that would work if there was no welfare state.
      So it is the welfare state that is the root of the problem in this case, and in the case of illegal entrants posing as refugees.

      Posted by Rafe on 03/27 at 04:56 PM • permalink


    1. There should be an amnesty for long-staying illegals, who are well integrated in society

      Hello free entrance for illegal immigrants!

      All you’d have to do is come in, find your local ethnic ghetto, hide there for a couple of years until you are “integrated” into society, and hey presto, no-one can get rid of you!

      No thanks.

      Posted by Quentin George on 03/27 at 05:14 PM • permalink


    1. We get these a lot over here – a front-page sob story about a loving wife being Torn Away from her husband and children, only to find out in paragraph 37 that she came over ten years ago on a two-week tourist visa and never took the trouble to get naturalized or even here legally even after marrying a citizen, or a family getting deported after it turns out they came over 15 years ago with two toddlers and never got legal. The kids are the ones I feel bad for (yeah, I know “Please, think of the children!”) because they’ve been really screwed over by their parents, and either get separated from them or deported to a country they know nothing about.

      Posted by Sonetka on 03/27 at 05:29 PM • permalink


    1. Let’s also add a amnesty for folks with long-laundred stolen cash that is well invested in the economy.  Or for long-lost fugitives from justice that are also well intergrated into society.

      Posted by Mr. Blue on 03/27 at 05:31 PM • permalink


    1. Mr. Blue — We call those last ones Congressmen…

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 03/27 at 05:49 PM • permalink


    1. Specifically, we call them Ted Kennedy.

      Posted by Sortelli on 03/27 at 05:57 PM • permalink


    1. I’m with Honkie Hammer on this one.

      Never let basic principles, such as the right of this country to determine who gets in and stays in, get in the way of common humanity.

      The harm done in this particular case seems to me to outweigh the benefit – though the facts as reported are scanty.

      Note that other cases have different circumstances, and in other cases I’d say “throw the bastards out”. But not this one.

      Posted by Zoe Brain on 03/27 at 09:20 PM • permalink


    1. How about an amnesty for well integrated war criminals too – there’s just too much gratutious excessive police brutality on the TV these days – bring back the sharing caring community.

      Posted by rog2 on 03/27 at 09:24 PM • permalink


    1. I nearly choked on my sausage mcmuffin this morning when browsing the Daily Tele at my local Maccas … an article said the Vaingalos were “trying to regularise their status” … was does that mean?  Is there such as word.  If there is, it may be when you didn’t want to super size in places like I was eating.

      Posted by Stevo on 03/27 at 09:38 PM • permalink


    1. According to dictionary.com, it’s a real word, the first definition listed is bring into conformity with rules or principles or usage.

      Posted by Sonetka on 03/27 at 10:43 PM • permalink


    1. One of my favourite parlour games is “which six cities to nuke?�?

      Los Angeles for sure.  Ease that traffic congestion and improve global culture at the same time.

      Washington.  Think of all the arseholes we can be rid of in one go.

      Houston.  One less star in Texas.

      Miami.  A suitable reward for Jeb’s integrity.

      Detroit.  I can never forgive them for Motown.

      Reno.  I just don’t like it.

      Posted by ssssabre on 03/27 at 10:55 PM • permalink


    1. ssssabre:

      One of my favourite parlour games is “which six cities to nuke?


      You have obviously never been to Port Hedland.

      Posted by kisdm001 on 03/27 at 11:21 PM • permalink


    1. kisdm001, too true my brother, but does Port Hedland need a nuke?  Aren’t the people there suffering enough.

      But OK, in a spirit of reason, let’s nuke 7 cities, and PH can go up in a cloud with the others.

      Who says compromise can’t work?

      Posted by ssssabre on 03/27 at 11:26 PM • permalink


    1. How about we uncork the bottled sunshine on wherever ssssaber is posting from?

      Posted by Cybrludite on 03/27 at 11:27 PM • permalink


    1. It’s my sunshine, and you can’t have it.  If you try to take it away from me I’ll kill you, and your family, and your friends, and anyone who looks like you, or who might mutate to looking like you.

      Haven’t you heard of global dimming (which would explain not only Geoarge and Jeb, but the whole rotten state).  It’s my sunshine, and there’ll be more of it once you’re gone.

      Posted by ssssabre on 03/27 at 11:42 PM • permalink


    1. Um, that’s a joke. It’s called bottled sunshine because of the fusion reaction in the lithium deutrideride rods after the fission primary goes off.

      Posted by Cybrludite on 03/27 at 11:48 PM • permalink


    1. ------>  <-- what you just said
      =======  <-- surface of the Earth
         o     <-- ssssabre's head
      Posted by david on 03/27 at 11:51 PM • permalink


    1. David: har!

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 03/28 at 12:08 AM • permalink


    1. ROFL!

      Posted by Cybrludite on 03/28 at 12:12 AM • permalink


    1. Andrea, do us a favor and leave this ssssabreshit up.  When someone tries to tell me how the left has taken the high road in this, I want to be able to just link over, please.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 03/28 at 12:25 AM • permalink


    1. Oh I’m not getting rid of it. But I don’t think Tim wants this site to become devoted to lefty trolls, or it would be “leftytroll.net” instead of “timblair.net.” So sssssabre has been banned, but his legacy will be forever preserved here.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 03/28 at 12:30 AM • permalink


    1. Sonetka
      Thanks.  I better throw out my old Little Macquarie and Pocket Oxford dictionaries that clutter my desk.
      Cheers, Stevo

      Posted by Stevo on 03/28 at 12:45 AM • permalink


    1. Any ideas on why Sabre spells its name with four s’s? DTs? Hair-trigger s on the keyboard? Inability to type? Poor spelling skills? Parents pissed off Moon Unit already taken?

      Posted by Hanyu on 03/28 at 12:46 AM • permalink


    1. Why are the kids left behind?  Under the post 1986 rules, you are only an Australian when you are born here if at least one of your parents was a citizen or permanent resident.  They obviously don’t qualify.  I had a stand up fight with the passport people over my youngest daughter, trying to prove that allthough we were all born here, she qualified for a passport.

      Posted by SezaGeoff on 03/28 at 01:13 AM • permalink


    1. Hanyu: sssstuttering problem?

      Or maybe because he’s a vicious little snake, judging from his general comments.

      Fire him into Sol, if he wants sunshine so much.

      Posted by Patrick Chester on 03/28 at 01:46 AM • permalink


    1. I agree with aebrain and honkie hammer.

      My workplace was recently “visited” by the Dept when they were looking for some overstayers. Turned out that a couple who’d been working in the warehouse for five years were undocumented immigrants. They were taken directly to detention, and their kids came home from school to be greeted by the police. They have all been deported. The kids were born here and don’t know anything about the Philippines.

      These people had been working and paying taxes in Australia – and contributing immensely to the business, which considered them valuable employees. And no, they weren’t hiding out in an ethnic ghetto (whatever that is), but were living in a typical red-brick suburban home in Sydney.

      Posted by nwab on 03/28 at 02:03 AM • permalink


    1. “undocumented immigrants”?

      Are those the weasel words for “criminals”?

      Well done DIMA in the red brick suburban “victim of The Man” case. Quick and surgical.

      Why don’t the caring and sharing see these people as the criminals they are?
      If you don’t like the law, vote in an Australian political party that will open the borders, cancel visa requirements, allow unrestricted immigration, etc.

      Oh,too bad, there isn’t one.

      You are just going to have to continue to howl in the darkness. Sorry.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 03/28 at 04:18 AM • permalink


    1. Pedro, the Dept had been looking for this couple for 5 or 6 years. Nothing quick or surgical about that. They blundered onto our premises without so much as alering the GM who was on site as always. Instead, they ran around with walkie-talkies and carried on like thugs. I understand that the boss – hardly a howler in the darkness – has lodged a formal complaint and the company is assisting the family in any way they can. But you know more about it than me – I was only there.

      Posted by nwab on 03/28 at 04:34 AM • permalink


    1. Sorry, that should say “alerting the GM”. Born to typo.

      Posted by nwab on 03/28 at 04:36 AM • permalink


    1. nwab; this is the coal face of the Law and it may not always be nice. Was DIMA in breach of any law?  So why the compaint?

      The fact is that the Vaingalos were here illegally.  The broke the law of the land.  If the law is broken and law breakers are excused of the penalties of that lawbreaking because its not “nice” then we will enter a period of no law.

      I would hope that these people would set an example of being accountable for their actions, for the sake of their children.

      Posted by rog2 on 03/28 at 05:04 AM • permalink


    1. nwab,

      You say these people were taxpayers, from which I assume that they were P.A.Y.E/P.A.Y.G taxpayers for 5 years.

      Where did they get their Tax File Numbers from?

      I assume that they signed a Tax declaration when they commenced employment.

      I assume that your workplace did not enter into some shonky employment arrangement with these people.

      Question:  Why on earth did it take the Department 5 years to nab them?

      Posted by Kaboom on 03/28 at 05:06 AM • permalink


    1. I’m glad that the Aussie authorities are actually enforcing the immigration laws. The British government seems to have a somewhat perverse idea of which illegals should be allowed to stay and which ones are sufficiently threatening (yes, the Sydney babe on the album covers) to warrant expulsion.

      Posted by Jim Geones on 03/28 at 07:26 AM • permalink


    1. Kaboom:

      As I understand it, Immigration and Tax are forbidden by law from sharing information with each other.

      As someone who likes my government as small as possible, I quite like this arrangement, despite the obvious disadvantages. Having an integrated national database where all data on anyone is accessible by any government employee with minimal security clearance is not a great idea. IMHO.

      Again, I want each case to be looked at on its merits.

      Definitely Go : Rapist-Murderer from the UK in the country illegally for 6 months with no dependants.

      Definitely Stay : Iranian convert from Islam with 6 kids, who’s been in the country 25 years, started up a business employing 200 people, gained an export award and recently saved the life of 2 kids in a burning building (which is why they caught him, from his hospital records). Also 104 year old grannies of any nationality.

      Unfortunately, most cases lie somewhere between these two extremes.

      As we know to our cost, deporting Chinese citizens 8.5 months pregnant with a second child means they’ll get a forced “late abortion” when the waters break, despite assurances to the contrary. So we don’t do that any more.

      Deporting any convert from Islam back to Iran or even Saudi means we’re killing them.

      Not deporting overstayers means that the really underprivileged people desperate and deserving to get in have less chance. And many people supposedly “from Iran”, or “from Afghanistan” are actually from nearby countries, and are gaming the system.

      At the risk of being tediously repetitive, you have to look at each case on its merits. The punishment should not be cruel and unusual in comparison to the crime. The good done by vigorously enforcing the laws should not outweigh the harm.

      In this case it may – or may not. I don’t know all the facts. But at first sight, I think they should have been fined, even imprisoned, but allowed to stay.

      I neither have unquestioning trust in the Minister for Immigration, nor do I think that that department is a bunch of heartless bunglers. They do a difficult job, and by and large, do it extremely well. They do, however, sometimes get it wrong.

      Posted by Zoe Brain on 03/28 at 08:15 AM • permalink


    1. I suppose that one should look at each case on its merits – the more false declarations that are signed, the more meretricious the case!

      Posted by Kaboom on 03/28 at 03:16 PM • permalink


    1. I dare say the GM in the warehouse in question is probably a little concerned about possible charges arising from hiring undocumented employees- the only way to get a tax file number/medicare card etc when not in possession of a valid resident visa is through fraud. Fuck them- a lot of illegals have kids here believing they will have citizenship status, which is incorrect- it used to be the case. While they may well be working and paying tax, they are also occupying a job that a lazy legal resident can be pushed into- ideally we could do a straight swap, willing worker for welfare parasite, but unfortunately this is not a viable option; as to an amnesty, since when does evading detection for an offence for a period of time not only dimish the offence, but warrant a reward? Phooey.

      Posted by Habib on 03/28 at 07:41 PM • permalink


    1. BTW- re the 104 yr old, besides the fact that she should never have been given a tourist visa or been uplifted in the first case, she should have never been given residence; there was never any question of the old bat being booted out, it was about her lazy, odious, grasping descendants wanting taxpayers to foot the bills for the fossil when she inevtiably vapour-locks; the media in this country are bigger suckers than Green Left Weekly buyers.

      Posted by Habib on 03/28 at 07:45 PM • permalink


    1. Habib,

      You have an eeeeevil mind, suspecting that nwab’s firm employs illegals.

      I wonder why he didn’t get back to me to clarify that issue?

      On another issue, I can’t see why Taxation and Immigration are forbidden from sharing information – Taxation and Social Security certainly do, and as for the Child Support Agency…..  Taxation even (forceably) shares information with the banks.

      Why are Immigration investigations hampered in such a manner?

      Posted by Kaboom on 03/28 at 10:19 PM • permalink


    1. Privacy Act mainly; when we were bored years ago we used to videotape invalid pensioners lifting 30kg suitcases off the baggage belt at the International Airport, then pass it on to Centrelink (and the AFP if the buggers made statements about returning from Yugoslavia where they’d been fighting the Serbs/Croats/Bosnians/Montenegrans etc); all jolly fun, but made illegal when the privacy act came in.

      Posted by Habib on 03/28 at 11:22 PM • permalink


    1. Nabbed in the afternoon, in the detention centre in the evening, on the plane at an unspecified time afterwards, sounds pretty quick and surgical to me.

      GM (note capitals, yassir) making a protest, not because he could be *gasp* conspiring to pervert the course of justice or hindering police in their duty etc.
      Oh no.

      Where did these red brick residents get their tax file numbers and title deeds to the red brick, how come they lurked for 5 years unless conspiracy theory is true, how come their kids attend school without documentation?
      It goes on and on.

      This country has become the biggest sucker for for every “undocumented” leech on the planet for the last 30 years. DIMA finally has some teeth and some backup from the relevant ministers.

      Did I vote for Howard et al because of the Tampa decision? Shit yes.

      Will I vote for a continuation of the current immigration policy? Shit yes.

      Does the majority of voting Australians agree with me? Shit yes.

      Am I a RWDB? Shit yes.

      Howl away, Comrades.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 03/29 at 08:56 AM • permalink


    1. Pedro, the company for which I work is an international listed corporation with 8,000 employees globally. The employees in the situation I related were employed when the warehouse site belonged to another company since incorporated into the larger group – an acquisition.

      Like most, they were employed via a labour agency based in Parramatta or somewhere close by. Their personal history is not in the public domain, so I cannot reply to your taunts about their background. All I know is that they were respected and well-liked by all at the site, and the management saw fit to represent them in any way possible – no small feat for a listed company beholden to shareholder opinion and the press.

      The General Manager objected to the behaviour of the Dept personnel on the site and the treatment of the employees and their family in front of their coworkers.

      I don’t know what has made you so paranoid about leeches in “this country”, but you should be grateful for the anonymity of this blog. Well, that’s why you’re here, isn’t it?

      Posted by nwab on 03/30 at 05:14 AM • permalink


  1. Hey kaboom, sorry I overlooked a reply – you must be feeling negelected. I don’t know how these leeches were able to cheat their way into our beautiful country, or establish a modest living working night shifts at a manufacturing and warehousing site in Western Sydney. (Slight sarcasm font used.)

    The point was that they had been members of the local community and had been working for a reputable employer that valued them as hard workers and committed employees for many years. When the Dept located them (and no, I don’t know how they evaded detection for so long – it was at least five years) they were afforded no respect in the treatment they received.

    Their children had grown up here.

    That’s the point. I was making an observation about the personal side of the event. It is not just a newspaper story about people you don’t know.

    Posted by nwab on 03/30 at 05:23 AM • permalink