'Stateless' Episode 2: How does Ameer find his way from Pakistan to the Barton Detention Center in Australia?
Throughout the initial episodes of 'Stateless', Ameer's (Fayssal Bazzi) arrival at the Barton Detention Center is a mystery. After being scammed by a people smuggler and stealing the money back from him, Ameer, his wife and two daughters finally get to a boat to sail across to Australia where they are planning to seek asylum. But at the last moment, a group of rowdies drag him away from the boat and his family has to leave without him. However, in the very next episode, we see Ameer at Barton, all the way in Australia. The answer to how he arrives there comes in the next few episodes.
During his interrogation for a protection visa, Ameer explains that his wife Najeeba is a Hajari and the Taliban were targeting Hajar people in Afghanistan, where they are originally from. So they escaped to Pakistan where they lived until they could save up enough to be smuggled to Australia for a better life for their two daughters — Mina and Sadiqa. Sadly, in Pakistan, they were scammed, and when Sadiqa caught Malaria, to fend for her medicine and something as basic as drinking water, he had to resort to stealing his own money back.
This caused the smuggler's men to attack him the night his family was going to sail through. And after initially lying about staying back to make more money he admits to the Barton authorities that he had been beaten up and left to die on the shore. Ameer had also lied to them about the money he used to get another boat for himself, and in the end, he clarifies it was the stolen money he had sewn onto his clothes. To add to that, a video of him translating English for the other people waiting to be smuggled also reaches the Barton authorities who then charge him with aiding people smuggling.
At Barton, when Ameer finally gets a family reunion, he finds out Najeeba and Sadiqa drowned on their way to Australia, only Mina survived. But given his reality, if he pleads guilty, he will be deported back to Afghanistan, along with Mina, and should he plead not guilty, he would be indefinitely detained in Australia. In all of this, Ameer's only respite is Mina, so in the end, he chooses to create a false story about meeting Najeeba and her daughters along the way to detach Mina's name from himself. The 12-year-old gets a protection visa that way, no matter what the consequences for Ameer are in the end.
'Stateless' is now available for streaming on Netflix.