Illegal but he is one of us

ALBURY councillor Daryl Betteridge is confident he can gather 1000 signatures to support a former Paddy’s barman now behind bars in Villawood Detention Centre.

Brian O’Boyle will spend Christmas and New Year in detention after his bid for a bridging visa was rejected recently.

His appeal is scheduled for January 2.

Mr O’Boyle has said that the officers who processed his claim had told him he had no support in the community.

But his friends, fiancee and two Albury councillors — Daryl Betteridge and Darren Cameron — are rallying behind him.

The fact that Mr O’Boyle was detained after going to police to report an assault must have rubbed salt into his wounds.

But Mr O’Boyle was in the country illegally, whether he knew it or not.

His protests that he bought a visa that turned out to be fake will fall on deaf ears. And the rules are black and white when it comes to people who overstay their welcome in this country.

But maybe Mr O’Boyle’s ability to prove his connections to the Border should count for something.

Of course it’s easier to treat every person who overstays the same. But Mr O’Boyle’s supporters have a point in arguing he should be considered as a person who was part of our community.