Deportation of non-citizens

I’ve just received an email from Liberty Victoria. It says this:

In 1999 the Howard Government amended the Migration Act to permit the Minister for Immigration to deport non-citizens on character grounds irrespective of how long they had lived in Australia. Previously, permanent residents who had lived in Australia for 10 years or more had not been deported. This power has been exercised on numerous occasions to deport from Australia people who had committed serious crimes and who, to all in tents and purposes, were Australians but by a technicality were not Australian citizens.

“Well, that’s not very nice I thought, but I wasn’t going to get too worked up about it. If someone commits a serious crime here and we can dodge the cost and foist them onto their country of birth, well, I’ve heard of worse things.” If someone arrived here at 20 and robbed a bank 13 years later, well, I don’t think we should deport them, but I can’t get too upset about it. No doubt others would get upset. Perhaps they’re right.

But what of people who arrived as small children. Surely we they shouldn’t be deported? Below the fold are some examples of deportees.

  • Stefan Nystrom, who arrived in Australia in 1974 as a 27 day old baby and lived here continuously until the age of 33 when he was deported to Sweden. Since he failed to take out Australian citizenship he was liable to deportation to the country where he was born but with which he has no other ties. His court challenge to his deportation failed ultimately in t he High Court and he is now seeking redress in the UN Human Rights Committee.
  • Robert Jovicic , who was born in France to Serbian parents and come to Australia aged two, where he lived until deportation to Serbia at the age of 38. He lived destitute on the streets of Belgrade until media publicity prompted the Government to permit his return in 2006. After init ially insisting that Jovicic apply for Serbian citizenship, the Minister granted him a temporary visa expiring on 4 January 2009. He cannot acquire Australian cit izenship because of his criminal record and remains stateless.
  • Ali Tastan, who arrived in Australia from Turkey at the age o f six and was deported to Turkey aged 30 despite a finding by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal that, because of his drug addiction and sc hizophrenia, deportation would place him in an extremely vulnerable position. Three years after being deported, he was found homeless and mentally derang ed on the streets of Ankara. After a public outcry he was permitted to return to Australia in 2006.
  • Steve Ongel , who arrived in Australia aged 18 months in 1970 and was deported to Turkey in 2003 leaving behind a wife and two daughters aged two and four.

From a human rights perspective no doubt one could end up in a worse place than Sweden.  But when you’ve been Australian since you were 27 days old?  That’s a bit rich.

 

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Yobbo
Yobbo
14 years ago

Citizenship isn’t a technicality. Why should Australia care about people who don’t care enough about Australia to ever bother becoming citizens?

Saggy Green
Saggy Green
14 years ago

You haven’t mentioed what crime(s) they committed to be deported.

Vee
Vee
14 years ago

I’d say there’s a pretty good chance after they outgrew infancy, that they did not know that citizenship had not all ready been provided.

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

Nystrom doesnt attract sympathy: he has a long string of criminal convictions, including one aggravated rape committed at the age of 1

6.

http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=5284

The problem with the law is that it is not the equivalent of a tailor made suit. Thugs like this guy hardly merit sympathy. The high court found that the minister was acting within her jurisdiction even though he easily fit into to the aborbed resident category.

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

absorbed….

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

Nic:

The problem is where do you draw the line in terms of how long is a piece of string. There has to be some judgement and leeway when making these decisions.

It would also be good to know what happens to other permanent residents who have committed crimes to see if there is a pattern that could be considered reasonable.

This looks like a guy that was going to cost us a lot of money in terms of institutionization and perhaps it’s not a bad idea to pass the buck to sweden. Maybe Australian women are safer as a result.

Liam
Liam
14 years ago

A more cynical question is this:
Should Australian-born permanent residents of other countries, who’ve fucked up their lives and committed terrible crimes in other countries, be automatically deported back here? How would we really like to deal with the social rejects of other societies, in the same way that we export ours overseas through deportation?
Other countries might start to go with JC’s response: if Australia’s such a wonderful place, maybe we ought to socialise dysfunction.

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

And the problem with that from their perspective is what exactly, Liam? The US for instance deports non-citizens after they have done time.

The Brits deported subjects for a long time and even founded colonies :-)

There’s a rich history of deportation.

Liam
Liam
14 years ago

The Brits deported subjects for a long time and even founded colonies

I assume you’re talking about transportation, Joe. Transportation in the early nineteenth century was itself the punishment, the British state never ever relinquishing sovereignty over its subjects, and was abolished after the goldrushes when criminal exile lost its terror. Convicts before prosperity wound up in a poor British colony, those after the 1840s in a rich one. In other words, it’s not the same as modern deportation. At all.
Now as you were saying:

This looks like a guy that was going to cost us a lot of money in terms of institutionization and perhaps its not a bad idea to pass the buck to sweden.

That’s either cynical selfishness on your part or an acknowledgement that Sweden does criminal rehabilitation better. Hooray for social democracy!

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

Thanks for the lesson in transportation, but I said it more in jest :-)

Thats either cynical selfishness on your part or an acknowledgement that Sweden does criminal rehabilitation better. Hooray for social democracy!

Whatever. I was hardly thinking along the lines of Socialist Sweden. But maybe you’re right. Maybe it’s better they had a go at mending his ways as we seemed to have failed. I truly hope they succeed for their own sake.

Yobbo
Yobbo
14 years ago

He should be punished in Australia. Anyone whos been here since they were a baby or a small child should be treated as an Australian.

I would agree if the person we were talking about is now 17. But we are talking about a 27yo guy who has had 9 adult years in which to take out citizenship if he so wished.

During my campaign I received an email from an association of retired British Expats living in Australia. They wanted to know LDP immigration policy, saying that the current parties treat them extremely badly.

Some of them have been living here for 15-20 years and have to reapply for a visa every 4 years, and cannot become permanent resident let alone a citizen. They need permission from the immigration department to buy a house.

Most of them consider Australia home and want to become citizens, but they can’t.

People who have the opportunity to become citizens but decline to do so deserve no sympathy when they are treated like non-citizens. End of story.

david tiley
14 years ago

Why does citizenship make all the difference?

Why should some drooling psychopath be permitted to stay here just because his mother was smart enough to write his name on a piece of paper?

Why can’t we deport anyone born in another country that we don’t want to guard and feed?

Hey, why does the accident of birth make a difference?

Why not just deport anyone who commits a crime? Why stop at the crime? Why not anyone who isn’t a useful member of our society?

In fact, if they are not useful, why not just put them to work? In a camp, where we look after them and protect them and give them food according to how uranium they dig per day?

In fact, if they are expensive, we could just….. I feel the hot breath of Godwin on my neck.

—–

Castro did this very thing, of course. The Americans got really shitty.

Liam
Liam
14 years ago

Then your fight—and theirs—is with Immigration’s skills- and money-based points system, not with foreign-born Australian-educated crooks, Yobbo.
Deportation is a step that ought to be taken with the deportee’s target country in mind. Are they going to imprison, let loose, oppress, ignore the deportees? Are they going to let them wander about homeless and mad? If so, we can hardly complain when other countries give Australian-born social problems back to us.

murph the surf
murph the surf
14 years ago

“Why does citizenship make all the difference?”

I thought the one protection citizenship conferred was that you couldn’t be deported from the country where you were recognised as a citizen.

I obtained residence in a couple of other countries around Asia but was always reminded by the various immigartion authorities that if I caused problems I’d be deported and the Australian consulate would probably send me the bill for my airfare. After I left prison that is ,if that was where I ended up.

Residence rights are a whole lesser status of being – citizenship entails more obligations I suppose.

With various efforts now being directed at foreign prisoners being able to serve their sentences back at home and Australians in the same predicament being able to return here I guess these schemes are only available to citizens then ?

steve at the pub
14 years ago

Yobbo’s comments = Hammer + nail *THUMP*

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

I’m sympathetic about what happened to you mother, Nic, but it doesn’t seem she was dealing with super geniuses with that lot.

Castro did this very thing, of course. The Americans got really shitty.

David:

Ah Scarface one of the best movies of all time. So over the top is was terrific.

Castro’s dumpees had no association with the US. All he did was clean out his prisons, stick the guys on boats and pointed them towards the US. US concerns with of the human rights abuses in Cuba were/are real

Liam

What would cause you to support deportation?

Liam
Liam
14 years ago

JC: Deportation is appropriate either for breaches of immigration law, or in response to other countries demanding extradition for crimes committed in other countries. Crimes committed in Australia deserve sentencing in Australia.
Let’s do a little thought experiment, Joe, and reverse Stefan Nystrom’s particulars, imagining him a Swede but for 27 days of Australian infancy. Would you be happy were Sweden to export “our” rapists back to us after they served their sentences?

James Farrell
James Farrell
14 years ago

Liam, your point at #9 is not cynical in tbe least, and I’m surprised that you feel any need to apologise for it. Even if the criminals in certain cases don’t deserve sympathy, exporting them on the basis of a technicality is very unfriendly behaviour toward the destination countries.

James Farrell
James Farrell
14 years ago

OK, that’s better.

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

Would i be happy? No. Course I wouldn’t be. However they are perfectly within their rights to do so if the guy is an Aussie citizen.

Crimes committed in Australia deserve sentencing in Australia.

So let me try a little thought experiment with you. Make that 27 days instead of 27 years. A guy gets permanent res. and 27 days later rapes a gal. You obviously think he should be allowed to stay here after his time do you?

If not what is the cut off then.

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

James:

exporting them on the basis of a technicality is very unfriendly behaviour toward the destination countries.

They’re going to get Hans Blix to write us a very angry letter?

David Rubie
David Rubie
14 years ago

jc wrote:

Theyre going to get Hans Blix to write us a very angry letter?

Is that how the new morality works? If we can get away with it, it’s OK!

Liam
Liam
14 years ago

Thanks, James.

A guy gets permanent res. and 27 days later rapes a gal. You obviously think he should be allowed to stay here after his time do you?

Someone convicted of a criminal offence should serve their sentence, Joe, and then be released. If they’ve been given permanent residency, that’s what it should mean—permanent residency.
Further to my point: deportation for permanent residents serves only a deterrent function. Ideally, it’s a recourse available against non-citizens, should they (for instance) try to seriously breach their residency conditions. It doesn’t serve a rehabilitative or protective function for the community, in fact, quite the opposite. Deportation is an implicit negation of both of those ideas.

Robert
Robert
14 years ago

Raising this topic serves to bring forth another: the flip side perhaps? Given the nation has laid waste to a focus on what may be deemed negatives for Australia, we’re allowed relief from continually raising cause, so may we be a little more free with the positives?

Instead of banishment from a country made isolated by that banishment, it would be wonderful to see Australians begin to really feel part of the (positive) citizenry of the world.

We’re ready. Our national accomplishments in so many fields have proven our ability; now, we face the next step of accepting it upon our nation that we not only envision ourselves as participants and contributers to world value (as a nation), but that we take it upon ourselves as a nation that we are worthy to do so.

We’re distinctly advantaged in several awesome areas.

We have an ancient continent beneath our feet – don’t see the relevence? It’s leverage, and we can take ownership of it. That’s the backdrop if you like upon which we can present.

We have an ancient people. Contentious in some areas – forget all that. The fact is we are blessed with ancient rites and ancient knowledge. We can alter our focus to listen and learn from this gift – a gift unique to the world, still living. Shifting to the positive, we have the opportunity of putting aside our reasons for crushing this and seek instead to find real-world solutions – philosophically based or not so – for how to live in harmony with our natural environment. And present that to the world, and reap the rewards of not only those solutions but the act of seeking and doing it. Don’t like it? Think of the leverage of being able to do such a thing. No other country can.

Settled, we are young. Two hundred years, plus a teenager. What’s the value in this? Twofold. a) We are not hindered by the shackles of a long history – not like other countries. We can invent, and reinvent. Don’t like it? We’re doing exactly that anyway. b) We can take the ‘cream’ rising from any and all other countries – countries which gave rise to that excellence in no small part due to their long en-shackling history – take that excellence on-board, and make of it something altogether exceptionally brilliant. (Cities in China as we know are doing this right now, technologically. Our point of difference and awesome value is that we can be so much more wholesome, so much more encompassing – so much more wanted – in this principle).

Nationally, we haven’t suffered. Not really. If we’re smart, we’ll realise the value of this and use the free-flying exhilaration of it to achieve swift, immediate international standing. The world loves a fresh face, unfettered of brow. We’ve been freed of recent constraints to do this.

How unique are these things, combined? What an amazing mix. The negative would say they’re contradictory, self-throttling, unresolved and unworthy.

The fact is we have this and so much more, right now, as national assets that require only a vision for the encompassing and mining and development of them, to present with capable and willing leadership to the world an Australian citizenry which can move us centre-stage for the challenging times ahead. Get the opportunity: the world is looking for this very thing. We can, indeed*, become a world leader.

How what we have is sought.

May we have that national dialogue instead.

[* “By their deeds shall ye know them”. Not into the religious thing on that point, but it stands as a truth for what we have available nationally, all the same]

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

Naaa David:

James’ comment innocently reminded me of that scene in the Team America when Hans was walking into Kim Jong Ill’s palace and Hans threatened Kim with an angry letter from the UN over WMD’s just before he was fed to the sharks through a trap door in the floor. No harm meant. Just joshing around.

On a serious not though:

But why is it immoral to deport crims? If you think it is immoral you must and should argue that we ought to remove any conditions from permanent residents that relate to behavior. Is that what you are arguing, Dave? Or should be just pretend the section doesnt exist?

Liam

That question goes for you too you seem to be skirting around that issue with real fancy footwork that makes me think you would be a real contender for Dancing with the stars.

I’ll repeat. Do both you fellas think we ought to remove the good behavior clause from permanent residence?

Liam
Liam
14 years ago

Ill repeat. Do both you fellas think we ought to remove the good behavior clause from permanent residence?

But that’s not the question we’re arguing at all, Joe, and it’s ‘character’, not ‘good behaviour’, that is the magic term. Dance like a butterfly and sting like one, you do.
What you have to answer for your part is why a permanent resident who’s already served the sentence for their crime should be given the additional punishment of deportation, arbitrarily, by a Department you’ve acknowledged yourself is run by halfwits. Do *you* trust them to tell the difference between a Serbian schizophrenic and Nick Gruen’s mum?

David Rubie
David Rubie
14 years ago

JC wrote:

But why is it immoral to deport crims? If you think it is immoral you must and should argue that we ought to remove any conditions from permanent residents that relate to behavior. Is that what you are arguing, Dave? Or should be just pretend the section doesnt exist?

Look at it this way:
– Raised in Australia
– Spent formative years in Australia
– Learned all their behaviours in Australia
– Committed their crimes in Australia

Now, suddenly, they’re somebody elses problem. I don’t know about you JC, but when my dog rips something of the washing line, I don’t suddenly give him to the neighbour to get him sorted out. It’s my problem, and I deal with it.

I know you’re having a red hot go at conflating permanent residency of adults who moved here as adults, and children who grew up here to adulthood. It doesn’t fly.

It’s you who is skating the issue, on a flimsy pretense that somehow the country that is largely responsible for shaping the behaviour of these criminals ought to be fobbing them off to an unwitting populace on a technicality of paperwork.

These fools are our fools, we ought to take responsibility for them.

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

Liam says:

Do *you* trust them to tell the difference between a Serbian schizophrenic and Nick Gruens mum?………..by a Department youve acknowledged yourself is run by halfwits.

Ok. You won. Seriously. That statement won the argument and I’ll go back to my kennel skulking like a mangy dog.

————————

The paper someone puts their signatuire to has meaning. It’s a contract that requires people to abide by the rules they sign. He wasn’t dumped when he was a kid and didn’t understand the rules of the game, which is why he possibly wasn’t thrown on a plane at 16 after he did time for raping that gal. Thats no excuse for knowing the law when hes an adult.

I still haven’t got an answer from you guys. Do you think we ought to scrap the good behavior clause? Yes or no.

Liam
Liam
14 years ago

Ill go back to my kennel skulking like a mangy dog.

You talk the talk, Joe, but can you walk the walk?

I still havent got an answer from you guys.

You’ve had an excess of answer, yet you don’t quite grasp the difference between punishment within a justice system and deportation on Ministerial decree. Ah well. At least we’ve been spared off-topic ramble from you so far.

David Rubie
David Rubie
14 years ago

JC,

From where I sit, the rubbish, dog-whistle bit of Howardian legislation to allow deportation on character grounds should be scrapped. It was ill thought out and was always going to be prone to allowing the stupidity layed out in Nicolas’ post.

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

Liam

The hight court found nothing wrong with the decision and it was perfectly legal.

Here:

The provisions of s 501(2), on the one hand, and ss 200 and 201 on the other, are not repugnant, in the sense that they contain conflicting commands which cannot both be obeyed, or produce irreconcilable legal rights or obligations. They create two sources of power, by which a person in the position of the respondent may be exposed, by different processes, and in different circumstances, to similar practical consequences. There is nothing novel, or even particularly unusual, about that. It does not of itself mean that only one source of power is available.
(Chief Justice Gleeson)

What the Chief Justice is saying, in plain terms is this: in various sections of the Migration Act, Parliament has passed laws that have the clear intention of giving the Executive arm of the Government power over individuals. Since the sections of the Migration Act that Nystroms lawyers relied on in their Federal Court appeal dont conflict in that regard they dont contradict each other, and Nystroms pending deportation is, or will be, perfectly lawful.

So it wasn’t ministerial decree alone that got him on his row boat. The high court agreed.

The problem you seem unable to grasp is that doing away with the good behavior section means that we may as well do away wih permanent residence and just grant citizenship automatically. You could at least fess up to this.

Liam
Liam
14 years ago

That looks like a judgement, but your link is where?

The problem you seem unable to grasp is that doing away with the good behavior section means that we may as well do away wih permanent residence and just grant citizenship automatically. You could at least fess up to this.

Short answer: no.
Long answer: no, you’re an idiot.
There is no ‘good behaviour’ section. Permanent residents are not expected to achieve perfection in behaviour, simply to be of ‘good character’. Australian citizenship is, as Yobbo and Nick Gruen have shown you, an extremely difficult thing to obtain, and the right not to be arbitrarily deported by the Minister for Immigration does not equal citizenship status, not by a long way.
The High Court agreed that the Minister has the power to deport because the Minister does, which is also a long way from that power being appropriate.
Here’s some reading to take back to your dogbox:

The use of the character provisions of the Migration Act against long-term residents reflects a lack of faith by the commonwealth government in the capacity of the criminal justice system to deal with individuals convicted of crimes. Instead of the opportunity to reform they are punished doubly by being banished after serving their sentences.

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

Dave

Permanent residence has always, as far as I know, expressed good behavior as part of the deal. Blaming this on Howard is a bit rich I think unless you’re able to present the changes Howard made to what was there previously. Can you?

I distinctly recall that people were decrying the horrid decision Keating made in allowing the rabid Sydney Mufiti to remain when there was case for getting rid of the Muppet.* I bring this up to illustrate that behavior seems to have a set condition when it comes to perm. Res.

* more than one columnist accused Keating of allowing him to stay to conserve votes. This makes it a far more worrying decision than any “Howardian” transgression.

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

That looks like a judgement, but your link is where?

same link as #5 you beagle you.

Liam
Liam
14 years ago

Blaming this on Howard is a bit rich I think unless youre able to present the changes Howard made to what was there previously. Can you?

The Migration Legislation Amendment (Strengthening of Provisions relating to Character and Conduct) Bill, 1998.

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

Short answer: no.
Long answer: no, youre an idiot.
There is no good behaviour section.

I’ll ignore the abuse this one time.

If there was no conditionality on permanent residence we wouldn’t be having this discussion as there wouldn’t have been about 60 permanent residents deported last year for lying on their application or acting criminally. Do you get it now?

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

Liam

Do you have a comparison to the previous law, which is what I asked for or don’t you?

I might remind you of your comment a few moments ago:

There is no good behaviour section.

Which you then followed up with:

The Migration Legislation Amendment (Strengthening of Provisions relating to Character and Conduct) Bill, 1998.

Do you trip over parked cars? No kidding. Lol.

David Rubie
David Rubie
14 years ago

JC wrote:

Permanent residence has always, as far as I know, expressed good behavior as part of the deal. Blaming this on Howard is a bit rich I think unless youre able to present the changes Howard made to what was there previously. Can you?

JC – the first quoted paragraph, right at the top of this very topic.

It’s inappropriate for a minister to have this power when (as other posters have stated) our criminal justice system can do this already without meddlers. Have a chew toy there’s a good doggy :)

david tiley
14 years ago

Liam – I am not supporting deportation. Just trying to say the whole thing is ludicrous and arbitrary.

Liam
Liam
14 years ago

David: I’m sorry if I’ve given the impression that you were in favour of any kinds of deportation, I quite sympathise with the spirit of your comment at #14.

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

Dave

So what you’re saying is that would prefer a prosecutor to decide a challenge to the status? Is that right? Why is it so different to a minister making case?

It seems to me that the minister here acts in similar fashion to the prosecution in criminal case (not identical) but you can have your day in court. I don’t really see a big problem here.

The guy got to the high court, for god’s sake. How much further can you go to challenge?

Jc
Jc
14 years ago

Thanks Dave:

JC – the first quoted paragraph, right at the top of this very topic.

This is what it says:
.

In 1999 the Howard Government amended the Migration Act to permit the Minister for Immigration to deport non-citizens on character grounds irrespective of how long they had lived in Australia. Previously, permanent residents who had lived in Australia for 10 years or more had not been deported. This power has been exercised on numerous occasions to deport from Australia people who had committed serious crimes and who, to all in tents and purposes, were Australians but by a technicality were not Australian citizens.

Look at this sentence very carefully, like I did first time round.

Previously, permanent residents who had lived in Australia for 10 years or more had not been deported

Does that mean there were provisions in the previous laws that hadn’t been used? The reason i ask that question is that I wouldn’t trust Liberty Vic as far as a can throw them. They’re like the US’s ACLU on steriods.

Gummo Trotsky
14 years ago

While we’re cherry picking that old OLO article (linked to by JC and Nick), here’s a bit I like:

Whenever I have written about this case – on my blog – there has always been at least one comment angrily arguing that Nystrom is very obviously the kind of person that we dont want in Australia; the only thing wrong with the situation is that we cant get rid of those other bad people who happen to be citizens. The issue of whether it is appropriate for the Minister for Immigration to have such a power in the first place rarely gets debated.

Seems the same thing happens here at Troppo too.

Liam
Liam
14 years ago

It seems to me that the minister here acts in similar fashion to the prosecution in criminal case (not identical) but you can have your day in court.

‘Not identical indeed’: that’s exactly what Ministerial power doesn’t mean. When the Minister makes a decision on a case, it’s done outside a court, and as the High Court has shown, the Minister can act unilaterally and arbitrarily.
Just so you know, the ‘character’ grounds under which the Minister can deport involve old criminal records of any kind of crime, suspicion of criminal activity, association with people with criminal records, or even just their “general conduct”. And as the principles of natural law are specifically ruled out, none of it has to be backed up by evidence.

I dont really see a big problem here.

You libertarian you.

Guido
14 years ago

To me deporting people in a country that they know nothing about just because they were born there after living in Australia most of their lives falls under the category of ‘cruel and unusual punishment’.

Pappinbarra Fox
Pappinbarra Fox
14 years ago

Hey Nicholas at 17 that is a fantastic ironic twist at the end of your story. I laughed so hard my balls hurt.

Joshua Gans
Joshua Gans(@joshua-gans)
14 years ago

The one clear conclusion one can draw from this thread is that Nicholas should be deported immediately.