After Peter Dutton of Home Affairs spoke about possible changes to immigration, warning was served by State Attorney-General John Quigley that Dutton’s comment might be aiding ‘crime tourism’. This is coming from several States regarding a change of immigration rules which could see criminals leave Australia without facing due justice.
Mr. Quigley said that an urgent warning has been issued to the Department of Home Affairs by all State and Territory directors of public prosecutions. The warning is in relation to a mysterious reinterpretation given to the Migration Act which would lead to the deportation of foreign criminals even before they stand trial.
Before now, the jurisdiction would issue a stay concerning any overseas visa holder who committed a crime. Hence, the Australian Border Force (ABF) would not let such person leave the borders of Australia until resolution of the matter which could include a jail term.
Implications of The New Interpretation
Mr Quigley said that Home Affairs is making it possible for any unlawful non-citizen who request removal to be deported not minding the issuance of a stay certificate. He told state parliament that the new interpretation implies that any tourist could commit a crime, and then go to Home Affairs requesting deportation presenting themselves as a visa overstayer. He said this could simply be a case of promoting crime tourism.
A letter signed by all State and Territory DPPs cautioned department of Home Affairs that the consequences of the changes could be far-reaching including accused criminals escaping justice. This means that at any stage of a criminal justice process, non-citizen could escape by simply requesting removal. This could result in extreme cases of people travelling into Australia to commit a crime knowing they could escape justice by requesting removal.
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