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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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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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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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Medevac Repeal report

Evidence heard during the medevac inquiry made an overwhelming case for keeping the legislation in place, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“The evidence heard during this inquiry made it clear – medevac has saved lives,” Senator McKim said.

“The government’s refusal to transfer sick people from offshore detention to Australia under previous arrangements caused death, mental anguish and untold suffering among refugees and people seeking asylum.”

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Biloela family must be allowed to stay

The Biloela family must be allowed to stay in Australia, Greens Immigration and Citizenship spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“Trying to deport a family, including Australian born children, in the dead of night is emblematic of this government’s heartlessness,” Senator McKim said.

“Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton and David Coleman must listen to the community and allow Priya, Nades and their children to stay in Australia.”

“With the stroke of a ministerial pen they could be released from detention and allowed to get on with their lives.”

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