De­por­ta­tion looms for 71 fail­ing to lodge forms

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS -

ONLY 71 “fake refugees” face im­me­di­ate de­por­ta­tion after a crack­down re­sulted in thou­sands of asy­lum seek­ers lodg­ing pleas for pro­tec­tion.

Im­mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Peter Dut­ton this year set an Oc­to­ber 1 dead­line for about 7500 asy­lum seek­ers to make a pro­tec­tion claim or be de­ported.

The asy­lum seek­ers were part of a “legacy caseload” who ar­rived by boat be­tween late 2012 and early 2014.

Mr Dut­ton (pic­tured) yes­ter­day said the dead­line had prompted all but 71 of the asy­lum seek­ers to lodge claims, and those 71 would now be cut off from re­ceiv­ing gov­ern­ment ben­e­fits.

“All the civil lib­er­tar­i­ans went crazy be­cause we were forc­ing peo­ple to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion and this means that we can get their ap­pli­ca­tions pro­cessed,” Mr Dut­ton said. “If they’re found not to be refugees then we can start de­por­ta­tion.”

A lawyer for the as­sy­lum seek­ers said many peo­ple were too scared to lodge claims.

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