A VICTORIAN mother-of-five is among hundreds of criminals and dodgy foreigners to avoid deportation despite failing the Federal Government’s tough new immigration ‘character test’.
Geelong mum, Kelly Webb, 31, has been released after eight months fighting her removal to the United Kingdom despite her extensive criminal history.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton promised a “zero tolerance” approach when announcing foreigners jailed for more than a year would be thrown out of the country in 2014.
However, the Herald Sun can reveal one in five of the 2300 people rounded up since the crackdown have been given a reprieve under Mr Dutton’s watch.
The Immigration Minister said the government maintained it’s “firm stand against non-citizens who commit crimes in Australia.’’
“The number of visa cancellations is up by 1200 per cent,’’ Mr Dutton said.
“If a non-citizen has a strong case to be allowed to remain in Australia revocation is considered. “Many factors are taken into account including the likelihood of reoffending, the impact on children and family, the nature and duration of ties to Australia, age and health and impediments that may be suffered if returned to their home country.’’
Ms Webb told the Herald Sun she was now living in Geelong and would be eligible to apply for citizenship if she remained crime-free for three years.
“If I get charged with anything, I am back in the immigration centre and that’s not a risk I am going to take,’’ she said.
On Facebook the mother of Tyson 10, twins Nakita 6, and Chase 6, Matthew 5, and baby Shae-Lee, pledged to stay on the straight and narrow since her November release.
“The old Kelly Webb is gone the new Kelly has her head screwed on and learnt from her mistakes this time. From now on my kids come first which is how it should have been 2 (sic) begin with but I was (sic) 2 self centred and selfish.
“Can’t wait for my future I believe this is my 2nd chance to raise these kids and I wont f*** that up (sic) 4 nobody.’’
Ms Webb’s long-term visa was cancelled last year while serving an 18 month sentence for committing burglary with a steak knife.
She had come to Australia in 1988 aged two, was raised in Geelong but was never naturalised.
Her childhood was marred by “monstrous” domestic violence, which culminated in her killing her stepfather.
She then spiralled into a life of crime committing numerous offences including theft, robbery and unlawful assault after she robbed a woman in a motorised wheelchair.
Days before her release from prison in March last year, the Border Force revoked her visa and shipped her to the Maribyrnong Detention Centre prompting her appeal to Mr Dutton.
More than 1500 people including more than 100 criminal bikie gang members and 25 convicted murderers were not so lucky and have been expelled.
Scores of Victorian residents have been deported including New Zealanders linked to bikie gangs and drug trafficking and teen thugs linked to the violent Apex gang.