Australian Trenton Oldfield Escapes UK Deportation After Calling Australia a 'Racist Country'

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By Reissa Su | December 10, 2013 5:56 PM EST

Australian activist Trenton Oldfield, who disrupted the Oxford vs. Cambridge boat race in 2012, avoids UK deportation after he told the tribunal that he shouldn't be allowed to return to Australia since it's a "particularly racist country."

Mr Oldfield said if he will be forced to return to his home country, he will not bring his wife Deepa Naik, who is a native of India, and his daughter with him because of racism in Australia.

In relation to his wife, he said Australia is a racist nation because there have been "particularly racist attacks" on people who are natives of India.

Mr Oldfield said while most of the "attacks" may be unintentional, some of the Indians in Australia have been physically assaulted or burned because of their race. He said he couldn't bear to have his wife and child experience racial attacks.

Mr Oldfield told the court that he doesn't want to be separated from his wife which was an ordeal while he was in prison.  He said his wife had never stepped on Australian soil and has no intention of ever going there.

After his passionate plea in the immigration tribunal, Mr Oldfield will possibly stay in the UK. The judge will decide on the case within four to six weeks but later said he will hand down the decision within 10 days. Although no final decision has been made, the judge said he would grant Mr Oldfield's appeal to remain in UK.

Mr Oldfield was sentenced to six years in prison after disrupting a boat race in protest. He broke down in tears after his impassioned plea. He said he was "delighted" to work again and spend quality time with his family.

UK's Home Office had declared Mr Oldfield's stay in the country was "undesirable" after his disruption of the famous boat race as an act of protest against deep "elitism" in the UK. Mr Oldfield had appealed the decision which was heard in the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal presided by Judge Kevin Moore.

Mr Oldfield told the tribunal that he swam into Thames and disrupted the race to prove a point.  He saw poverty in UK and believed the government was passing laws that only make life more difficult. 

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