The Federal Government will reportedly rush through laws that will ban asylum seekers who arrive by boat from setting foot in Australia for life — even if they are genuine refugees.
News Limited is reporting that the ban will apply to any adult who has been sent to Manus Island or Nauru since July 19, 2013.
That was the day former prime minister Kevin Rudd proclaimed: “As of today, asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia.”
The report says Parliament will push through the new laws when MPs return to Canberra next week. The laws will even prevent those who have chosen to return to their home country since 2013 from obtaining a visa of any kind, even as a tourist.
The laws would not, however, apply to children who arrive by boat unaccompanied or with their parents.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the stricter guidelines were required because his figures suggested up to 14,000 asylum seekers were waiting to board boats in Indonesia.
“This is the next step in cleaning up Labor’s mess,’’ Dutton is quoted as telling News Limited’s Sunday newspapers.
“The government has consistently said no one who attempts to enter Australia illegally by boat will ever settle here. This puts into law that crucial aspect which has been central to stopping the boats and stopping deaths at sea.
“It sends a further clear and consistent message to people smugglers that the government’s resolve on protecting Australia’s borders is as strong as it has ever been.’’
Mr Dutton described the laws as “critical to support key government border protection policies — Temporary Protection Visas, regional processing and boat turnbacks where safe to do so”.