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Immigration and Citizenship

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Budget shows cuts to humanitarian intake

Cutting 20,000 places from Australia's humanitarian intake is cruel and unnecessary, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"The Liberals' decision to reduce Australia's humanitarian intake from 18,750 to 13,750 for the next four years is devastating to displaced people around the world and the millions of Australians who want a compassionate refugee policy," Senator McKim said.

"That is 20,000 men, women and children who will remain displaced because of deliberate decisions taken by this Government."

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Expanded values test is unnecessary

The Government’s attempts to force citizens through an expanded values test is unnecessary, the Greens say, while welcoming the commitment to expanded language classes.

“Arbitrary tests don't make a society more cohesive,” Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP said. 

“Scott Morrison locks up asylum seekers and Peter Dutton attacks African Australians. Instead of attacking multiculturalism and democracy, Scott Morrison should value them.

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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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Release refugees from high risk Mantra hotel

Confirmation that an immigration detention guard at the Mantra Hotel in Melbourne has tested positive for Covid-19 reinforces the need for detainees to be released into community detention says Greens Immigration Spokesperson Senator Nick McKim, who has visited the Mantra and seen first-hand the cramped conditions.

“This is an extremely concerning development as the virus will spread like wildfire if it gets a foothold in immigration detention facilities,” McKim said.

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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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