A DROUGHT-hit migrant market-gardener is to be deported because he is not producing enough tomatoes and zucchini.
John Lai, from Taiwan, and his wife Su-Mei and three children have lived in Australia for nine years.But the Department of Immigration has ordered them out by January 5.
A Migration Review Tribunal decision last week gave Mr Lai just two weeks to leave the country because he wasn't meeting the department's strict criteria, including a minimum business turnover.
The cruel decision comes despite an extraordinary display of support from people in the Lais' home town of Cowra, New South Wales, including 100 individual letters and petitions with hundreds of signatures. Cowra Council development manager Graham Apthorpe said he hoped Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone would overturn the decision.
"We want him to stay," he said. "And the people want him to stay. "He has always paid his way, he is no drain on taxpayers, he sends his kids to the local Catholic school and pays the fees."
Mr Lai owns his own block of land and his market garden business would be on track if not for the drought, Mr Apthorpe said.
There you see Mr. Lai's problem: he needs to be a Lebanese muslim, hanging out in a big-city ghetto and sending his kids to the local madrassa for indoctrination. Those kids old enough should be cruising the streets, armed, dealing drugs and beating up their hosts. (That's when they can spare the time from organising rape gangs and stealing luxury cars at gunpoint).
He'd be one of a protected species then, effectively untouchable.
When was the last time a Lebanese muslim was deported for failing to meet the Department's criteria for sufficient business turnover?
Probably never--stolen cars and drugs are lucrative businesses, drought or no drought.