Boat people face Aussie lifetime ban
SYDNEY: Australia moved yesterday to bar any refugee or asylum-seeker who arrives in the country illegally by boat from ever being able to apply for a visa, even as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the lifetime ban was necessary to send an “absolutely, unflinching, unequivocal message”.
Amendments to the Migration Act would be backdated to mid-2013, when former 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.”
Canberra currently sends all boatpeople to offshore processing camps on the Pacific islands of Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus. They are already blocked from being resettled in Australia even if found to be genuine refugees. They can either return home, make a life on Manus or Nauru, or go to a third country.
The new legislation would affect those sent to Nauru and Manus from July 19, 2013, including those who have returned home. – AFP