‘She’s an idiot … but she belongs here’

Maryanne Caric has served numerous prison sentences, which put her foul of immigration laws
Under laws brought in in 2014, non-citizens can be deported if they serve more than 12 months in total in prison over two or more sentences.

A Brisbane grandmother is being deported to Croatia, despite having lived in Australia for the past 50 years, after being convicted on drugs charges,.

The ABC’s Law Report has reported at length on the case of Maryanne Caric, who arrived in Australia as a two-year-old but will be deported under laws introduced in 2014 that make it mandatory for any non-citizen who serves more than 12 months in jail to have their visa cancelled. The 12-month total can comprise more than one short prison term.

Most of the deportations so far have been ones of New Zealanders, some with links to biker gangs, although there have been other reports of long-time residents also being deported. In December 2015, Ricardo Bolvaran, who spent 41  of his 42 years in Australia, was deported to Chile and in September 2015 a New Zealand woman who lived in Australia for 37 years was due to be returned to NZ.

According to the ABC, Caric, a long-time drug user and offender, has spent years in the Australian jail system throughout her life, but never became an Australian citizen nor obtained a visa. She was warned in 2007 and 2010 that further criminal convictions could result in deportation.

Caric is now close to finishing her most recent sentence and has had her request for permission to stay in Australia denied by Alex Hawke, the assistant minister for immigration.

But Caric’s lawyer Jason Donnelly told the ABC that people such as his client often didn’t understand the warnings they received about potential deportation. 

Her sister Katrina, meanwhile, says of Caric: “She’s an idiot … but she belongs here.”

In January the Commonwealth Ombudsman criticised the government for taking too long to cancel visas, which meant people to be deported were kept for long periods in immigration detention centres after the prison sentence was finished, as well have having a harmful effect on their families.

Do you think these deportations are the right move by Australia? Should there be any leniency for people who’ve been long-time residents but not sought a visa or residency? 





  1. linus  

    Does this story want the laws changed to accomate idiots and drug users.?

    • john pisac  

      I think is bit harsh to treat people like this. I can understand people with lager crimes should be deported but again how many criminal convictions she had. I am from Croatia and i can tell you she will probably commit suicide or do something really bad to put her self in jail as she will not survive there

      • Enough  

        Larger crimes ???!!! Like trafficking for instance – she’s accountable for her own actions –

    • SUSAN  

      Well if she has been here most of her life SHE SHOULD HAVE MADE HERSELF AN AUSTRALIAN CITIZEN. Living here in Australia for 50 of her 52 years and being educated in Australia will make her know and understand what she has been told and what she has done. So it is her own fault if she couldn’t be bothered to get a citizenship. DEPORT HER

  2. peter allder  

    this woman has been a burden to the tax payer for far to long and proven to be unworthy to stay

  3. Grub  

    Send her packing. Choose not to become a citizen and cost the Australian taxpayer a huge amount in maintaining her in prison etc. Not wanted here !!!

  4. Hils  

    She’s had 50 yrs to become a citizen. Send her back.


    If this woman had chosen to become an Australian citizen during the 50 years she has been in Australia I would definitely support her right to stay. Stating that she might not have understood the warnings is an incredible statement. By now English should have become, if not her first language, certainly a strong second language.

  6. Terry  

    If you are not an Australian Citizen, then you should be deported.Would any of us be allowed to live in her birth Country without Citizenship and committed crimes?????

  7. Kevin Smart  

    That’s what I love about people today – the amount of compassion they show…

    • Mishelle russell  

      I have no compassion for this woman. I know her. I don’t believe her partner is dead. She is the lowest of the low. Perhaps the evidence she gave in her drug trafficking trial should be published. I will happily put her on the plane.

  8. Nellie  

    Let her stay… 50 years is too long…She was 2 when she arrived….All of her family support is here…her only chance is here….It is too cruel a punishment to send a minor criminal into exile….Surely we are not England of 220 years ago….Show the woman some mercy.

    • Faye Dapiran  

      I agree, does she even speak Croatian, she obviously had all her schooling here. I’m not sure why she wouldn’t have become an Australian citizen, seems ridiculous.

    • Pando  

      Minor?. She has 70 convictions. SEVENTY

    • W.P.Dunton  

      The best comment so far. Im an Australian living in Europe and let me tell you that Australia is a laughing stock in the rest of the world. We Aussies are such racist whingers and bigots, how can one possibly deport a 50 year Australian permanent resident? she learned the crimes that she committed in Australia with australian citizens and not in croatia you racist fools and I bet shes more Aussie than half you idiots posting your bigoted comments on here.
      I am ashamed to be Australian when I read such negative comments . This woman is our problem not croatias, we are such a weak nation in so many ways.

  9. Marcia dobson  

    Get rid of her. She a menace to society and a waste of tax payers money.

  10. Jan Dower  

    To say she may not have understood the laws after 50 years is ludicrous even if she was a bit confused her lawyer and family should have informed her of how the law works here. I’d rather see taxpayers money being spent on refugees who have nothing than on someone who continually broke our laws and didn’t even consider becoming an Australian citizen. I think she has been shown enough compassion but still couldn’t learn her lesson. Sad for her family but if they can’t convince her to behave don’t expect the government to keep carrying her.

  11. christine thompson  

    when people have had numerous chances to stop offending against the law , I
    would rather see them deported .. pity they don’t see how lucky they are to live in Australia ..I would never trade it to live anywhere else in the world

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *