Many migrants that made the journey to Australia found it hard to adapt to the Australian way of life. Mentally, for most of the migrants that arrived, it was tough.
In the 1950s, section 8A (1) (a) of the Immigration Act read as follows: 'Where the Minister is satisfied that, within five years after arrival in Australia of a person who was not born in Australia and who arrived in Australia on or after the date of Commencement of this Section, that person has become an inmate of an insane asylum or public charitable institution, he may make an order for his deportation.'
Mental Hospitals had to regularly update the Department of Immigration as to how many people in their facility were not born in Australia, what their mental status was, and if they were improving or not. Based on the evidence provided, it was up to the Minister of Immigration to decide whether it would be appropriate to deport someone based on their mental health status.
Schizophrenia was the most common mental illness amongst patients, and there were not many treatment options available to them. Although it was written into the Immigration Act, there are no records to advise how many migrants were deported under Section 8A (1) (a).