Asylum seekers who use people smugglers to illegally come to Australia by boat will be given a lifetime ban from entering the country, under a government plan set to be put to Parliament next week.
Even if they are found to be legitimate refugees, those who employ the use of illegal people smugglers to make their way to Australia will never be allowed into the country, even as a tourist.
According to the government, the lifetime ban will extend to those who have been sent to Australian detention centers on Nauru or Manus Island since July 19, 2013, however the laws will not affect children.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the law was a follow-up to former Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s pledge in July 2013 that any asylum seeker who comes to Australia by boat without a visa would “never be settled in Australia”.
“They must know that the door to Australia is closed to those who seek to come here by boat with a people smuggler,” he told the press on Sunday.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the laws would send a “tough message” not only to people smugglers, but to those thinking of coming to Australia illegally.
“This is a tough message we are sending to the people smuggling syndicates and those who pay people smugglers to try and enter Australia,” Bishop told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Sunday.
“They will not be settled in Australia and they won’t be visiting Australia.”
Meanwhile Immigration Minister Peter Dutton told News Corp the Labor opposition should have “no excuses” not to support the laws in Parliament, as it was Rudd – a former Labor PM – who first announced such a plan.
He added that Australia would continue to fight the illegal people smuggling trade which has resulted in hundreds of “deaths at sea”.
“This puts into law that crucial aspect which has been central to stopping the boats and stopping deaths at sea,” Dutton said on Sunday.
“It sends a clear message to people smugglers that the government’s resolve in protecting Australia’s borders is as strong as it has ever been.”