Support floods in for mum facing deportation


AN OUTPOURING of support has humbled Townsville mum Cassiana Ribeiro, who has been told she must leave her home and go back to COVID-19-ravaged Brazil because of a visa issue.

The 40-year-old Bushland Beach mother has taken her fight to Canberra, but loved ones closer to home are standing behind her, including one of her colleagues, Madison Thain.

Madison works at Muffin Break with Ms Ribeiro, and has set up a petition to help her stay in Townsville.

More than 1000 people have already showed their support for the "shining light" loved by many customers.

"Cassie is a hardworking member of the Townsville community," one of her customers, Nareeda Blackley said.

"Her interactions with her customers always brightens their days and makes them feel better. She should not be forced to leave because an error in paperwork."

Ms Ribeiro's neighbour, Charlotte Downie, echoed these same sentiments, saying she was like a second mother to her.

Cassiana Ribeiro with her daughter Rayssa Atkinson, 14, at their Bushland Beach home. Picture: Evan Morgan
Cassiana Ribeiro with her daughter Rayssa Atkinson, 14, at their Bushland Beach home. Picture: Evan Morgan

"Every day I am over her house … her daughter and I have known each other for eight years … this is not fair," she said.

Ms Ribeiro was told on November 26 that she had to leave Townsville and go back to Brazil by December 31 because of a "mistake" on her visa.

She has fought for a year to appeal the department's decision without any luck, so has turned to her community for help.

Ms Ribeiro, her partner of 15 years and her daughter, 14, moved to Townsville in 2011, where they have lived and worked ever since.

In 2018, the department found an issue with the income she provided on her Skilled Visa application, and it was denied.

The mother is distraught at the thought of leaving her family and having to travel to Brazil, which is enduring its second wave of COVID-19.

"The government are ripping our family apart … I don't think I should sit down and be quiet about this … this is our home," she told the Townsville Bulletin.

Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson took Ms Ribeiro's issues to Canberra last week.

Mr Thompson pushed acting Immigration minister Alan Tudge to look into Ms Ribeiro's deportation, saying he would do whatever he could to keep her in Townsville.

Ms Ribeiro told the Bulletin yesterday that she had still not heard back about any updates to her fight.

If you'd like to sign the petition, click here.

Originally published as Support floods in for mum facing deportation