SYDNEY, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Immigration Department is preparing on Wednesday to deport a grandmother from Brisbane who has been living in Australia for the past 50 years, after denying her request to stay in the country.
The woman, Maryanne Caric, was initially from the Republic of Yugoslavia (now Croatia), and arrived in Australia when she was two years of age, never learning any other language than English.
In early March, the Australian government handed Caric deportation papers, as she was held in the Villawood Detention Center on the outskirts of Sydney.
Caric, who has a history of drug offences, was impacted by legislative changes that occurred in 2014, which resulted in anyone who has been imprisoned for longer than a year having their visa cancelled.
In his determination, the Federal Assistant Minister for Immigration, Alex Hawke said that although he understands that Caric has been away from her country of birth for 50 years, and that the issues she would be required to face in Croatia would make it "extremely difficult for her to make the necessary adjustments to life there," she still must be deported.
"I find that the Australian community would expect non-citizens to obey Australian laws while in Australia." Hawke said.
The Brisbane grandmother was charged with offences as recently as 2015, when police pulled over her vehicle and discovered 2.4 grams of pure heroin, and four mobile telephones, leading them to conclude that she was engaged in the purchase and distribution of illegal drugs.
Although Hawke admitted in his determination that Caric was able to remain drug free in her recent stint in prison, he was unable to be sure she would no longer commit any crimes.
"She may again resort to drug use and criminal activities," Hawke said.
While awaiting her deportation in the detention facility, Caric intends to appeal the decision.