The Saturday Paper

Banishment does occur


Kieran Pender quotes Kim Rubenstein as saying: “We have a criminal law system to deal with criminal conduct – we don’t banish people” (“Schrödinge­r’s citizen”, February 12-18). That’s not quite true. Hundreds are deported each year under sections 501 and 116 of the Migration Act. (The former applies to people sentenced to a year or more in custody, the latter to people guilty in the minister’s eyes of bad character.) Peter Dutton calls this “taking out the trash” but many have spent most of their lives in Australia. I know two 501s held in Melbourne Immigratio­n Transit Accommodat­ion who have each spent 50 years here. As one said: “I’ve done the crime and done the time, but Australia made me. Now it wants to send me away from my family.” This cruelty has to stop.

– David Glanz, Hadfield, Vic

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