Family facing deportation appeals to Dutton

The Lee family (SBS screenshot)

Supported by their parish priest, a family facing deportation to South Korea has issued a last-minute plea to be allowed to stay, SBS World News reports.

With only days until her family's visa to live in Australia expires, mother-of-three Jessica Lee spoke emotionally of the links to her adopted country.

"I really just hope that the minister changes his mind and just gives us a chance," she said.

"We live in Australia. Just because ... Australia is my home, you know? And I really want to give a chance for my sons to live here."

Ms Lee and her family arrived in Melbourne from South Korea in 2008. Her husband, David Lee, set up a series of businesses. But he says an unscrupulous migration agent he hired to get him permanent residency fled the country with more than $100,000 of his money.

With poor advice from another agent recommended by the government on how to handle his company structure, subsequent residency bids failed.

A request for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to intervene in the case was denied in May. Now, the family can only appeal for him to change his mind.

The Lee's parish, St Christopher's in Syndal, has set up a petition calling on the Mr Dutton to let the family stay. The online petition has attracted more than 4000 signatures.

Fr Patrick Jackson says the Lees are simply bewildered by their experience.

"They are a loyal, faithful, hardworking family. They've done nothing wrong," Fr Jackson said.

"They are the kind you want for Australia. They don't know which way to turn, because they've tried every avenue lawfully to try to get acceptance in Australia. It's almost like everything they've tried has been turned against them."

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection says the case has been assessed and those who have exhausted all avenues to remain in the country are expected to leave.


Family pleads not to be deported after nine years in Australia (SBS)

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