A British-born mother-of-five faces deportation for her criminal past, even though she has lived in Australia for 28 years. She is begging for a second chance to stay, but should she get one?
Kelly Webb, 30, was born in the UK and came to Australia at the age of two.
She is a self-confessed drug addict, but claims she has been drug-free for the last two years. She has been incarcerated 11 times throughout her life for crimes such as theft, receiving stolen goods, robbery, trespassing and drink-driving. At 14, after years of domestic abuse, Ms Webb killed her own stepfather with a hockey stick and kitchen knife. She was found guilty of manslaughter, but only received a good behaviour bond instead of a jail term.
After serving an 18-month sentence for armed burglary, Ms Webb now faces deportation under tightened Australian immigration laws that were passed in 2014. The law demands the removal of any foreign-born national who has served more than 12 months in jail. Three days before she got out of jail, Ms Webb’s visa was revoked and she has since been transferred to an immigration centre to await deportation.
Should she be deported, her five children will all remain in Australia. The father of three of her children died in a motorbike accident in 2015. These three children are now in the care of the paternal grandmother. Ms Webb’s mother, Cheryl, cares for the youngest child, with another son residing with his father in Perth.
Ms Webb is now begging the Government to give her a second chance to stay and be a mother to her children.
“I was going to be with my kids and my mum, but three days before I got out I was told. I had never heard of the law. I cried for two days,” she said. “All I want is one chance to stay in this country, because this is my home. I class myself as Australian. I know no different.”
Cheryl Webb, 51, is worried about her daughter being taken away from her kids and that she will not have sufficient support to make it in the UK. She fears her daughter will self-destruct without her family and friends.
“I can’t believe this has happened. She has done her time. My fear is they will end up deporting her. She has really pulled it together. She just wants to sort her life out,” she said.
“I need to stay in this country,” Ms Webb told 3AW. “I need to work on myself. I need to stay here for my children.”
Should she be given a second chance? Or would this be considered her twelfth chance, seeing as she has already been incarcerated 11 times? When does a harsh upbringing cease being a reasonable excuse for criminal behaviour in later life?
And why should immigration laws be any different for Ms Webb than they are for the people who have served more than 18 months of forced captivity in detention centres? Half of the deported refugees were never actually convicted of a crime – they were just foreign.
Finally, if Ms Webb is so heartbroken at the thought of being taken away from her children, why didn’t she consider that when she was breaking into houses with a steak knife?
What do you think of this situation?