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Prohibited Items Bill

The Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2020 is irredeemable and must be rejected by the Senate, the Greens say in their Dissenting Report to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiry.

”The amendments proposed by this Bill are punitive, disproportionate and contrary to Australia's international human rights commitments,” Greens Immigration spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

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Behrouz Boochani

Comments from Greens Immigration spokesperson Senator Nick McKim on New Zealand's decision to grant asylum to Behrouz Boochani:

"New Zealand granting asylum to Behrouz Boochani shows what true compassion from a government looks like, and shows Australia’s polices up for the cruel and dangerous disgrace that they are."

"This is bittersweet news. Behrouz is free at last but so many others remain in exile or in prison. We have stolen their hope and their dreams, and it’s time to give them back."

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Prohibited Items Bill

The Government’s latest attempt to prohibit items in immigration detention centres is a massive overreach, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“This is a transparent attempt to cut people in immigration detention off from the outside world,” Senator McKim said.

“Phones in immigration detention are absolutely essential.”

“They allow people to stay in touch with friends and family, and they also help shine the disinfectant of sunlight on abuses which are all too common.”

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Expansion of ASIO powers unjustified

Nick McKim 13 May 2020

The Government’s latest attempt to expand ASIO’s powers is cynical and unjustified, the Greens say.

“Yet again, Peter Dutton is trying to increase powers of security agencies without even trying to explain his reasons,” Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

“Nor has he tried to give any possible justification for the need to interrogate children as young as 14.”

“To use the pandemic as cover for the increased scope of the surveillance state is dangerous and cynical.”

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Visa Holders

The Australian government should develop and publicly release criteria for temporary visa holders to be allowed to return to Australia.
 
During the COVID-19 select committee hearing today it was revealed that Australian Border Force officials have no criteria for granting exemptions to the travel ban for ‘compelling and compassionate’ grounds.
 
“The decision making on this has been completely arbitrary, leaving hundreds of people stranded overseas, despite holding valid visas,” Greens Immigration spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.
 

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COVID-19 App

The Government’s shameful disregard for privacy continues with the release of its COVID-19 app.

“If the Government wants people to use this app, they need to put protections in law beforehand,” Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP said.

“People have very legitimate concerns about how the data will be used and where it will be stored.”

“The reported storage of the data by a US company raises real concerns. When it comes to privacy, if there’s one person I trust less than Peter Dutton, it’s Donald Trump.”

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Temporary Visa Holders

The Greens welcome moves by some state governments to support temporary visa holders, but they show how people have been abandoned by the federal government, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“Moves by the Tasmanian and South Australian governments to support some temporary visa holders are welcome, but it should be the federal government taking this action,” Senator McKim said.

“The federal government has the resources to help and direct responsibility for Australia’s visa system.”

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Temporary Visa Holders need genuine income support

The government's response to temporary visa holders in Australia is cruel and callous, Greens Immigration and Citizenship spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"Temporary visa holders are guests in our country and many have lost jobs and income. They need genuine income support right now," Senator McKim said.

"The government is turning its back on people in their hour of need, just as it has done to people seeking asylum for years."

"Not all temporary visa holders have the financial capacity to simply leave. For them this is a sentence to poverty and hunger." 

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Government must provide income support for temporary visa holders

The Federal Government must provide income support for temporary visa holders impacted by the coronavirus shutdown, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"There are about 1.5 million people in Australia on temporary visas, and the Government has an urgent responsibility to provide income support for those who need it," Senator McKim said.

"Many of them have no income and no capacity to leave the country due to restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic, and face losing their homes and jobs."

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High Court ruling

The Greens welcome the High Court’s decision regarding the government’s ability to deport First Nations peoples.

“Trying to deport First Nations peoples whose country we stole is a fundamentally racist thing to do,” Greens Immigration and Citizenship spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

“All First Nations peoples who are in Immigration detention should now be immediately released.”

“It is also time to rein in the authority of both the Immigration Minister and the Minister for Home Affairs so we don't see these kinds of gross abuses of power.”

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