Not too long ago, CNN published the story of Noriko Calderon, a 13-year old Filipina who was born and raised in Japan. Her parents, Arlan Cruz Calderon, 36 and Sarah Calderon, 38 were deported back to the Philippines from Japan on 13 April 2009. They both entered Japan in 1993 on fake passports. They met, got married and had a child whom they named Noriko.
Noriko grew up in an environment entirely different from what a Filipino child would have known. She studied in a Japanese school, mingled with Japanese children, watched Japanese television and learned how to speak Nippongo fluently. It was the only language she knew.
On April 13, Noriko’s parents were finally deported after fighting their case for three years in Tokyo’s High Court. They were seen off by their daughter Noriko at Narita Airport. It was a very sad scene. Noriko was crying, knowing that she would not see her parents for a long, long time. The couple Arlan and Sarah cannot go back to Japan until after five years but they asked to be able to visit their daughter once a year.
Activists claim that Japan’s strict immigration laws violate human rights. It makes us wonder if a similar thing could happen here in Australia.
Take the case of Raniel Avendano. He was then 19 years old when his parents faced deportation in December 2007. Raniel had been diagnosed to have suicidal tendencies and that was probably what prompted Immigration authorities to allow his parents to stay.
We should be grateful that Australian immigration laws do give some leeway for authorities to grant relief to parents in such situations.
Immigration laws vary in different countries. In some, they are notoriously complex. Individuals may be eligible for more than one form of relief. Anyone facing deportation proceedings or concerned about their status are well advised to consult an immigration lawyer.