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Immigration and Citizenship

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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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Motion: International Students

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) over 550,000 international students currently study in Australia, contributing immensely to our community and economy,

   (ii) many of these students are suffering enormous financial hardship at the moment due to unemployment, wage losses and instability during COVID-19,

   (iii) students have been forced to queue at food banks, live in cramped accommodation, and rely on the charity of others in order to eat and make ends meet,

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Speech: International Students'

In the last few weeks, there have been disturbing videos shared on social media channels showing queues of international students lining the streets of Sydney. These students are not lining up to wait for transport or go shopping. These students have been queuing to be given free food from restaurants and charities because they have no other way of eating. These are students who we welcomed into our country, many of whom are now facing nothing less than poverty, starvation and homelessness.

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Speech: One Nation (and others') racism on migration

I did ponder a bit whether speaking on this matter of public importance was worth it, because it clearly seeks to divide us. But, to be honest, I have had it up to here with One Nation, so I will have my say. This MPI is just another way for them to define who should be in Australia, who is deemed as 'one of us' and who is deemed as the 'other' because of what they look like or where they come from. Let me make one thing crystal clear: when One Nation talk about changing the composition of our migration program, we know what you mean.

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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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International Students Abandoned In Heartless Visa Announcement

Australian Greens Senator for NSW and Education spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has said that the federal government has abandoned international students to the risk of poverty and homelessness. Today the government confirmed it would provide no financial support for international student visa holders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Faruqi has called for income support for international students during the COVID-19 crisis.

Senator Faruqi said:

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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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