An anonymous senior immigration official reported to Lateline that Solon's situation was due to a systemic problem in the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs. Lateline reported that the official said:
"In the compliance area, people on the whole are a bunch of cowboys, under so much pressure to deport people. All proper processes have broken down. They put their energy into picking up people and deporting them without proper investigation."
The social worker who was one of the last people given access to Ms Solon before her deportation said she had requested from Immigration the grounds for Solon's deportation.
"This one, it just really baffled me because they said they couldn't find any paperwork or documentation about her."
While being escorted back to Manila by Australian Embassy officials on 13 May 2005, Ms Solon revealed that she was unaware that she had been deported. According to Solon, she was informed by Australian officials that she had to be sent to Philippines for treatment, and received travel assistance from them. She also indicated that she had informed Immigration Officers that she had an Australian passport, but was not carrying it at that time.
Lateline confirmed with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on 14 May 2005 that Ms Solon had been issued a passport, valid at the time she was deported. Since Ms Solon has been an Australian, she was issued three passports, and had traveled on an Australian passport for ten years. Her last passport was issued on November 2000, but never collected.
Read more about this topic: Vivian Solon
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