Please let Australian family members come home. Coronavirus is not a racist virus.

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Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation not to impose a travel ban in response to the coronavirus, on 1st of February 2020, our Prime Minister Scott Morrison still announced that “Australia will deny entry to anyone who has left or transited mainland China from 1 February, with the exception of Australian citizens, permanent residents and immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents including spouses, minor dependents and legal guardians.

While it sounded like the Australian families will not be affected by the travel ban, thousands of Australian families were forced to separate at the Australian border, all simply because someone among these Australian families holds a Chinese passport. Mums and dads, grandmas and grandpas, sisters and brothers, girlfriends and boyfriends, members of Australian families were ruthlessly denied entry despite having a valid visa.

What’s even more ridiculous is that many immediate family members of Australian families have also been denied entry despite the announcement saying otherwise, the explanation I got from the Australian Border Force in person was unless you have a visa or have a government letter confirming you are applying for a visa that has permanent residents status (which costs a minimum $7700AUD), you will be denied entry. Such a condition was never announced or explained in any online documentation. On top of that, despite the Federal Register of Legislation clearly shown under Regulation 1.12AA, stating that a member of the immediate family includes a de facto partner, the Australian Border Force refuses to acknowledge a de facto partner as an immediate family member.

To make the matter worse, the Australian Border Force is granted permission to cancel visas of Australian family members that hold a Chinese passport at will. As if forcefully separating the family at the border and forcing them to leave Australia is not traumatising enough, some were told not allowed to enter Australia again for another 3 years, cancelling the valid visa that they lawfully obtained.

What I don’t understand is how does the passport make a difference when it comes to who might be infected by the coronavirus? Our family boards the same flight, lives in the same house, eats the same food and speaks the same language. How did the government and the Australian Border Force come to the conclusion that only a Chinese passport holder might be infected by the coronavirus, but an Australian passport holder might not?

Coronavirus is not a racist virus; it does not read a passport.

Australia is not a racist country; it does not have to act like one.

Even America didn’t act like this, why does Australia have to be the first when it comes to racism?

Please amend the policy and let Australian family members come home.

This is not just a matter of the Chinese community, it destroys the anti-discrimination image that we as a country have been working so hard to maintain. Please sign and share this petition, let's work together against discrimination.