Priya Murugappan has been honoured as one of Marie Claire‘s Women of the Year, and and so have all the women that have been campaigning to bring her and her family back home to Biloela. What will it take to actually convince our government to let her stay?

The Murugappan family, better known by the public as the Biloela family, currently reside in community detention in Perth. Their story is a tragic one, and unique in the way it’s captured the hearts of people across the nation, even those who typically oppose accepting asylum seekers.

Priya Murugappan and her husband Nades are Tamil refugees that escaped persecution in Sri Lanka. The couple met and  married in Australia. They assimilated into the rural community of Biloela in Queensland, where they became loved by those around them. They have two Australian born daughters: Kopika and Tharnicaa. By all accounts, they are the perfect refugee success story, at least to those who are determined to split refugees into ‘good’ and ‘bad’.

And yet, due to late paperwork in 2018, Priya and Nades had their home invaded by immigration officers, were separated from their children, and sent to detention. The event was traumatic not just for the this family, but for the community that grew to love them.

Three years later, Biloela is still begging the government to allow Priya, Nades and their children to come #HomeToBilo — which can literally be done with the stroke of a pen by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke. Like how Peter Dutton used his discretionary powers to let his cop mate’s Italian au pair stay in Australia.

The family has spent years in continual closed detention, including the two girls who are Australian-born and at the time of being ripped from their Biloela home, were both under two years old.

Eventually, Tharnicaa became so ill from the neglectful and harmful environment she was forced to grow up in that she needed to be evacuated to Perth for medical aid. The family managed to come to Perth with her, and after a long fight Priya, Nades and Kopika (who is now six years old) were granted 12 month bridging visas… but not four-year-old Tharnicaa, meaning the family still can’t leave Perth. It’s a cruel measure to keep the family in detention while still technically giving them what they’ve been asking for, and it begs the question: why?

Why does our government refuse to allow this family home to Biloela? Racist arguments about not wanting refugees or asylum seekers in the country become obsolete when you see the way that the community in Biloela has been campaigning for Priya and her family to return.

Marie Claire has just honoured Priya Murugappan and the Biloela family and community in their Women of the Year issue, alongside Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins. This is her impact. This is how much Australians care about her and want her home.

This family is loved and missed, they were settled here happily, and they were contributing to society. If this doesn’t make them one of our own, if they still don’t deserve to be here in the eyes of our government, then what the fuck do people have to do to be deserving of compassion and second chances here in Australia? Because it seems the only thing this family is missing right now, is white skin.