Right now, innocence is being taken by faceless government bureaucrats.
Immigration officers arrived unannounced at Stanmore Public School in March and removed Ian Hwang, then 11, and his six-year-old Australian-born sister Janey, after their Korean mother was arrested arriving at Sydney Airport with a false passport.
The family was released from Villawood on Wednesday night after more than four months.
… Ms Byers said her client denied that she asked for her children, who had been living with their aunt for three months while Ms Lee [the mother] was in Korea.
IAN HWANG: I never want to go to a place like that ever again. It was really bad. I had to go through some really bad things, like where someone tried to commit suicide.
MICHAELA BYERS, FAMILY LAWYER: He’s spoken to me about his feelings about being detained and about how hopeless he felt. And he’s been deeply affected by witnessing the attempted suicides to the extent that he was contemplating that himself.
I can scarcely believe this. Did this happen? In my country? Officials from the government — MY government — did this? They didn’t check? They just went in, took the kids from school, and locked them up for four months?
Can it be that we have got so rabidly paranoid about illegal immigration that we’re now locking up children with no reason, apparently with the intention of deporting them as soon as possible? Perhaps the mother was on shakey legal ground, but they were cared for by the aunt. The younger sister was born in Australia fer chrissake.
I saw a little footage of Ian, now 12, on the news last night, being greeted back by his schoolmates. The poor kid must have lost the last vestiges of his childhood over the past few months. What the hell is going on that this kind of thing is happening?