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The Parliament of Australia, the legislative branch of the government of Australia, has proposed a law to arrest migrants with criminal records, sparking a public and political backlash.
On Thursday, the Australian Parliament passed emergency legislation, wherein migrants with criminal records can face up to five years in prison for breaching their visa conditions.
The decision of the parliament reversed a High Court ruling from 2004 that stated migrants can’t be detained indefinitely as an alternative to deportation.
What can migrants expect?
The legislation requires the migrants to wear electronic tracking bracelets and comply with the rules. Under the new law, the authorities can impose ankle monitoring bracelets to track migrants. The authorities also have the power to impose very strict curfews.
If migrants fail to comply with the rules and visa conditions, they can face up to five years in prison in Australia.
Australia releases 84 migrants
The government in Australia has released 84 migrants, including convicted criminals considered dangerous, after Australia’s High Court ruled last week that indefinite detention of migrants is unconstitutional.
Andrew Giles, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs of Australia, “It is important to note that the High Court hasn’t yet provided reasons for its decision, so the full ramifications of the decision won’t be able to be determined.”
Andrew Giles revealed that some people held criminal records. He further said, “We continue to consider all measures that may be available to strengthen our protection of the community.”
What happened to released migrants?
The Visas of all the released migrants had been canceled because of their criminal records and evidence of poor character. They were held into indefinite detention. All the released migrants also included Afghans, a nationality that Australia has stopped deporting since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
A member of Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya Muslim minority, identified in court as NZYQ, brought the case to the court. He was convicted of raping a 10-year-old boy in Sydney, Australia, in 2015. The migrant was released from an initial period of migrant detention and sent to indefinite detention.