Coalition’s citizenship laws would give Peter Dutton power to overrule court decisions

Coalition’s citizenship laws would give Peter Dutton power to overrule court decisions

Turnbull government’s overhaul would let immigration minister reject decisions made by Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Peter Dutton would be given the power to overrule court decisions on citizenship applications that he doesn’t think are in Australia’s national interest under new legislation.

The Turnbull government will be unveiling details this week of its planned changes that make it tougher to get Australian citizenship.

The legislation will give the immigration minister the power to reject decisions on citizenship applications made by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal if he doesn’t think they are in the national interest. He can now reject AAT rulings on visa applications but said he would like the same power for citizenship applications.

“What we’re talking about here is just providing the same arrangement that we do for visas now,” he told Channel Seven on Monday. “This is really just trying to align the arrangement in terms of citizenship with the laws that exist in relation to granting and cancellation of visas.”

He said people could still appeal his decision at the federal and high courts.

The new powers form part of the government’s proposed changes that make it harder for people to get Australian citizenship.

The government wants to extend permanent residency from one year to four before people can apply for citizenship, toughen English language competencies, introduce a values test and require people to demonstrate they have integrated into Australian society.

The overhaul of the citizenship process – which has been in gestation within the government for months – follows the Coalition’s move two months ago to overhaul skilled migration by replacing 457 visas with two new categories that cut off pathways to permanent residency.

Malcolm Turnbull said in April it was time for a new citizenship test that demonstrated people’s allegiance to Australia and whether they were prepared to stand up for “Australian values”.

The Greens’ immigration spokesman, Nick McKim, has criticised Dutton’s proposed citizenship changes, saying they are xenophobic, unfair and must be rejected by Labor.

“Time and again we have seen Peter Dutton grabbing more power for himself, as he tries to make himself judge, jury and jailor,” McKim said. “He has repeatedly shown he cannot follow the current laws – now he wants to get rid of the right of the courts to correct his unlawful decision.

“This a draconian measure aimed at undermining multicultural Australia.”

Tony Abbott told 2GB radio on Monday the AAT lacked common sense and if tribunal members made “bizarre decisions” they “shouldn’t have their contracts renewed”.

Dutton said some of the AAT’s visa decisions had been hard to accept. “I think some of the decisions they make are rightly overturned and I’ve done that in relation to a number of cases,” he said.

“We have been very deliberate in cancelling visas of people that have committed crimes. Outlaw motorcycle gang members, for example, who are the biggest distributors of ice in this country, we’ve cancelled a record number of their visas.

“The ability of the way in which the law operates now is they can appeal to the AAT but the minister of the day can substitute that decision of the appeal tribunal, so we’re just aligning [the citizenship laws] with that current law.”

Dutton also said that, under the new legislation, young migrants may have citizenship refused and their visa revoked if they fail to pass a character test. He pointed to young people involved in the violent Apex gangs in Melbourne, saying they may not get citizenship in the future.

“My view is that if 15, 16, 17-year-olds are involved in adult-like criminal behaviour – that is, following people home from restaurants, breaking into their houses, home invasions, stealing cars, breaking into jewellery shops, at the moment they might be on an automatic pathway to citizenship because their parents have been granted citizenship,” he said.

“What I’m saying is, they need to conduct themselves within the law.

“If they don’t, and they fail that good character test, then they could stay on a permanent visa depending on the arrangement but they wouldn’t be getting citizenship.”

Online Source: The Guardian


More in Community

Top of the Class

Rekha RajvanshiFebruary 20, 2018

New Laws Protect Students From Sexual Predators

The Indian TelegraphFebruary 20, 2018

From Baahubali to Butter Chicken: Prabhas Unplugged

Aarti Kapur SinghFebruary 20, 2018

Pink Or Blue?

ManasiFebruary 20, 2018

The Curious Case Of Anant Ambani

Twinkle GhoshFebruary 20, 2018

Time for a “SAVE ADANI” yet?

Vish ViswanathanFebruary 7, 2018

Bollywood Gupshup

Aarti Kapur SinghFebruary 6, 2018

Australia, Its Refugees & The Moral Depravity Lurking Within

Pankaj YadavFebruary 6, 2018

A Dream Worth $50,000

Shivani SinghalFebruary 6, 2018

Tadasana: Be As Sturdy As A Mountain

Susheela SrinivasFebruary 6, 2018

Endgame Adani Or Far From It?

Shivani SinghalFebruary 6, 2018

NSW Encouraged To Celebrate Safely This Australia Day

The Indian TelegraphJanuary 25, 2018

In The Name Of Guns, Cannabis & The Holy Yoga

Twinkle GhoshJanuary 25, 2018

The Gopi Factory & The Badminton Revolution That Is Here To Stay

Boria MajumdarJanuary 23, 2018

Were the No voters mistreated?

Pankaj YadavJanuary 23, 2018

Pride, Prejudice & Padma

Twinkle GhoshJanuary 23, 2018

THE KAPOOR WITH A DIFFERENCE: The Man, His Movies, His magic

Twinkle GhoshJanuary 23, 2018

Busting Myths About Australia: Yours Truly, The Flat Earth Society

Shivani SinghalJanuary 23, 2018

Tasmania: Australia’s ‘Land down under’

Vishnu NairJanuary 23, 2018

‘Potentially Hazardous’ Asteroid The Size Of The Burj Khalifa Is Heading Towards The Earth At 67,000mph

The Indian TelegraphJanuary 18, 2018

Stay Indoors! Sydney Set To Bake In 43 Degree Temperatures Again During Five-Day Heatwave

The Indian TelegraphJanuary 18, 2018