Thousands more foreign thugs and sex offenders to be kicked out of Australia under new visa crackdown
-More foreign-born sex offenders and thugs will be deported under new laws
-The law means that anyone who commits a crime can have their visa canceled
-Currently, the most common trigger for cancellation is 12 months jail time
-The new law will now apply to those who are sentenced to less than 12 months
Thousands of foreign thugs and sex offenders are set to be kicked out of Australia under tougher new visa-cancelling and deportation laws.
The new legislation, which could be introduced by the Morrison Government as early as this week, will apply to more criminals than the previous law.
Currently, non-citizens can have their visas cancelled if they’re found guilty of a serious crime and jailed for 12 months or more, but the new law will change that.
Under the new law, anyone found guilty of an offence for which they can be jailed for two years or more – even if they escape a jail term – can have their visa cancelled.
This tougher new visa-scrapping legislation also applies to anyone – including children – who has been found guilty of a crime and jailed for less than 12 months.
Former Victoria Police officer and now chairman of the Federal Joint Standing Committee on Migration, Jason Wood told the Herald Sun the change is necessary.
The committee chairman previously worked closely with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton in the months before he finished up as Immigration Minister.
He said far too many thugs and offenders of gang-related crimes were evading jail time and visa cancellation due to the current 12 month minimum sentence law.
Mr Wood said a ‘no age’ restriction clause was also necessary in the revamped legislation because too many of those committing the crimes were aged under 18.
The new law will cover sex offences, domestic violence, breaching an apprehended violence order, car-jackings, home invasions and possession of dangerous weapons.
‘Under the new legislation …the offender’s visa being able to be cancelled by the immigration minister, or a delegate for the minister from the Immigration Department — whether or not they get sentenced to jail,’ he said.
Mr Wood believes if a migrant is found guilty of a serious crime ‘most Australians would want that person sent back to where they came from’.
He said cancelling someone’s visa shouldn’t be determined on their age or whether they are jailed for a minimum 12-month period or more.
‘It’s about protecting Australians from violent and sexual offenders who aren’t Australians,’ he said.
The committee chairman said despite Labor denying there is a gang issue in Victoria, the law was motivated by the disproportionate level of foreign born gang crimes.
Information provided by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission revealed only six of the 60 Apex gang members in Victoria were born in Australia, he said.
Mr Wood said the new legislation will not ‘discriminate between thugs’, but rather send a powerful message that violence and crime will not be tolerated.
Sudanese-born Isaac Gatkuoth, who was found guilty of car-jacking at gunpoint, has already had his visa revoked – but the tougher law will target more crooks.
Another offender to have his visa cancelled was Iranian refugee Behzad Bashiri.
Bashiri was eventually deported after he threatened to commit terrorist offences after a judge gave him a light sentence for threatening to burn down a building.
Mr Wood said the new legislation would prevent judges and magistrates from giving lenient sentences that prevent offenders from having their visa’s cancelled.
He said those who are found guilty under the new law wouldn’t automatically be deported and could still appeal the decision.
‘We need to send a powerful message to the people that we allow into Australia that being here is a privilege and that privilege can and will be removed if they commit serious offences here,’ he said.