Migration Amendment (Removals and Other Measures) Bill 2024 -MAKE A SUBMISSION OPPOSING THIS BILL


Contact Senators in your State

Just before Easter, the government attempted to rush through legislation that would require people, who have exhausted all avenues to remain in Australia, to cooperate with their removal from Australia, regardless of whether they have genuine fear of persecution in their homelands.  The Bill was referred to a Senate Committee for a review.

It is imperative that this Bill is not passed. We are asking people to contact Senators in their State, stating the key reasons it should be opposed.

Please send emails to all Senators for Victoria by using this tool provided by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre:

Stop Labor's Entry Ban and Deportation Bill

You can edit the draft letter to make it your own, or even copy and paste your submission and send that.

Use the following information from the Human Rights Law Centre analysis:

Criminalising Refugees

The Bill criminalises non-cooperation with removal by a ‘removal pathway non-citizen,’ (someone who has exhausted all avenues of appeal) punishable with up to 5 years’ imprisonment with a minimum mandatory sentence of 12 months.  This is irrespective of whether the person genuinely fears they will be harmed if returned to their homeland, or is otherwise medically unable to cooperate with their removal. Those provisions will apply to people who have serious and legitimate claims for protection. They risk serious non-compliance with Australia’s obligations under the Refugee Convention as well as other international instruments.

The ‘fast track’ refugee determination process has been subject to extensive international criticism, as has been rightly acknowledged by the Labor government as neither fair, thorough nor robust.   The Bill further penalises the victims of the ‘fast track’ system, whose claims for protection have never been properly or fairly addressed.

Compounding Indefinite Detention

The Bill will create a ‘roundabout’ regime that will compound indefinite detention of certain people. It will allow for people who genuinely fear harm, or who are medically unfit to cooperate with their removal, to be imprisoned for up to five years, and then presumably returned to detention.  The Bill does not consider a mechanism to review ongoing and indefinite detention, or to order the release of people from detention into the community.  Passing the Bill will compound the practice of indefinite detention and further penalise and harm those subject to it.

Circumventing Existing Protection Findings

The Bill allows the Minister to “reverse” protection decisions, paving the way for people to be deported to countries where they face persecution or significant harm.

Separation of families

The Bill deliberately separates families. The Minister can require a person to comply with a direction in relation to their removal, irrespective of the impact this would have on their spouse, children or other family members. It is extraordinary that the Minister is authorised to direct a person in relation to their own child.

In addition, the broad prohibition that prevents almost all people from designated countries from applying for any visa to come to Australia will inevitably and permanently separate families, including those fleeing conflict and war.

Expansion of “god-like" ministerial powers

The Bill significantly expands the powers of the Minister with no adequate safeguards. Under the Bill, the Minister can unilaterally – subject only to consultation with the Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs – designate a country to be a “removal concern country”, with the effect that almost all nationals from that country are prohibited from applying for any visa to come to Australia. And it is only the Minister who can decide in individual cases to lift that prohibition, but the Minister is under no duty to even consider a request. This is a dangerous and unjustified extension of the Minister’s broad suite of “god-like” powers.