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Immigration and Citizenship

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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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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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