Brazilian student wins visa case at the highest level

Bernard Lane; 6/4/10; (2 Items)

Foreign students up against Kafkaesque bureaucracy in Australia have a new hero: Marcos Flavio Berenguel. Mr Berenguel, a Brazilian hoping to stay on as a skilled migrant after completing his studies, was blocked by a ruling that must have puzzled, even outraged him. Nothing unusual – except that Mr Berenguel went straight to the highest court in the land. And the High Court sided with him last month against the “plain unfairness and absurdity” of the Department of Immigration in denying him a visa. In April 2008, Mr Berenguel applied for his visa as a skilled migrant. Under the rules, proof of his good English had to come from “a test conducted not more than two years before” the visa application.

See:; Gitmo refugees to resettle in Australia; 5/4/10;; Human rights trump public housing eviction; 6/4/10;

Hysterical headlines ignore the reality of refugee children
Alison Sampson; 6/4/10
Frenzy over boat arrivals sends the worst message to our newest Australians. Every week I spend an hour or two reading with refugee kids at a local school. They are in prep and grade 1, and we sit together and work through the vagaries of English. Not long ago, a girl who speaks two other languages hammered her hand against her forehead as she looked at a picture of a mule. ”I know the word in Arabic,” she groaned, ”and in my other language, too – I just can’t remember the English!” Carefully, she sounded out the letters. ”Ah, donkey!” she said, beaming. I was so proud of her – and in awe. I only know ”donkey” in one language. She learnt three languages and lived in two or three countries before she started school. I thought of her when I saw the recent hysteria about boat arrivals: They shop! They eat! They cost $80,000 per person! (Of course, the cost can’t be blamed on our policy to ship people thousands of miles to a prison camp where staff and supplies must be imported.)