Asy­lum-Seeker Ban Could Af­fect Those Al­ready In Aus­tralia: Bishop

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Aus­tralia’s For­eign Min­is­ter Julie Bishop says con­tentious changes to visa laws are not aimed at refugees or asy­lum seek­ers al­ready in Aus­tralia, but has not ruled out that some may be de­ported. Con­cerns have been raised that the pro­posed changes to the Mi­gra­tion Act could af­fect peo­ple on bridg­ing visas in Aus­tralia. The Coali­tion wants to ban those sent to Manus Is­land or Nauru in re­cent years from ever ob­tain­ing any visa for Aus­tralia.

The leg­is­la­tion, to be in­tro­duced next week, would ap­ply to those who tried to ar­rive by boat since mid-2013. Ms Bishop did not rule out the pos­si­bil­ity of some peo­ple cur­rently in Aus­tralia be­ing af­fected.

She told the ABC that the leg­is­la­tion would only af­fect the group of peo­ple pro­cessed off­shore, even if they had been brought to Aus­tralia af­ter­wards. “My un­der­stand­ing is that this leg­is­la­tion ap­plies to those in off­shore pro­cess­ing cen­tres, in­clud­ing those who may have sought for ex­am­ple med­i­cal treat­ment in Aus­tralia, but are part of the co­hort whose claim for asy­lum is be­ing pro­cessed in a re­gional off­shore pro­cess­ing cen­tre,” she said. “My un­der­stand­ing is also that claims for asy­lum that have been pro­cessed in Aus­tralia, as was done un­der La­bor, are not af­fected.” ABC

Aus­tralian For­eign Min­is­ter Julie Bishop.

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