Australia's harsh refugee policy set to get harsher

PM declares ‘door to Australia closed’ as gov't announces plan to impose lifelong ban on asylum seekers who arrive by boat

Australia's harsh refugee policy set to get harsher

World Bulletin / News Desk

Australia’s government has announced proposed policy changes under which adult asylum seekers who travel to its shores by boat will be banned for life from entering the country.

This means that even asylum seekers who have chosen to return to their home country will be banned from obtaining any kind of visa, even as tourists.

“The door to Australia is closed to those who seek to come here by boat with a people smuggler -- it is closed,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Sydney on Sunday.

At a joint press conference -- ironically held at the same time hundreds of refugee advocates marched in rallies planned around the country calling on Australia to “bring them [refugees] here” -- Turnbull and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton dashed all hope that this will ever occur.

Turnbull and Dutton announced that the tough new proposals, to be tabled in parliament next week, would prevent all refugees and asylum seekers currently being held in processing centers on the Pacific islands of Manus and Nauru from ever coming to Australia.

“The laws will to apply to any asylum seeker sent to Nauru or Papua New Guinea's Manus Island for offshore immigration processing since July 19, 2013 - the date Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd declared: 'As of today, asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia,” Turnbull said.

“The government will introduce legislation in the next parliamentary sitting week to amend the migration act to prevent irregular maritime arrivals taken to a processing country for making a valid application for an Australian visa.”

Referring to the scenario as “a battle of will between the Australian people, represented by its government” and “people smugglers”, Turnbull said the law change was necessary to support key government border protection policies.

Last Mod: 30 Ekim 2016, 10:56
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