[Video] Australia: Mauritian father begs government not to deport family
Members of a local community are up in arms over the impending deportation of a young family-of-five.
Three young girls who have been in Australia for a decade will be forced to leave along with their parents after their father failed to pass an English test.
Dhiraj Sookharee, who is employed at United Panels in the Melbourne suburb of Packenham, has been described as 'the ultimate worker' by his boss.
The family, who come from the tiny island nation of Mauritius - a French-speaking country in the Indian Ocean - say they love Australia.
Mr Sookharee's English is good enough to train apprentices at his workplace, and he is begging the government to let his children stay. He said:
I would just beg for my family, for my kids... they've grown [up] here, they're happy here, they want to stay here.
Mr Sookharee's eldest daughter Anastasia is halfway through Year 12 and deportation would have a massive impact on her education.
Killester College assistant principal Steve McPhail says he is baffled by the decision to deport the family:
I can't understand why we as a country don't want to keep people here that are contributing and have so much potential, the values that these girls hold, they will be great contributors to our society, they will be great citizens.
A heartbroken Annick Sookharee says her daughters have been in Australia for two thirds of their lives and she and her husband emigrated for them.
Daniel McCasker, co-owner of United Panels, was overcome with emotion when speaking about Mr Sookharee, calling him an indispensable employee. He said:
He's our right-hand man ... to have someone we can trust totally, not just ourselves ... we know the days we're not here Dhiraj is looking after everything.
However, Mr Sookharee's failure to pass the English language test means deportation is looming, even though he has no communication problems at work.
The Sookharee's case is now being looked into by the Assistant Immigration Minister's office.
FIGHT TO STAY
This family have called Australia home for the last decade - in fact they want to become citizens. But there's one stumbling block in their way, and it'll have you shaking your head. #9ACA | FULL STORY: https://www.9now.com.au/a-current-affair/2017/extras/latest/170728/fight-to-stayPosted by A Current Affair on Friday, July 28, 2017