18 March 2009

Detention debt regime for those migrating to Australia illegally to be abolished

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Evans announced today that the detention debt regime for people illegally migrating to Australia has been removed from policy.

The Migration Amendment (Abolishing Detention Debt) Bill 2009 will remove all debts incurred from illegally emigrating to Australia for all current and former detainees.

While people smugglers and illegal anglers will still have to pay costs associated with their detention, and liability costs for the removal of illegal citizens will remain, all immigration detention costs and existing debts will be waived.

The Government has chosen to pass this bill because the debt recovery system proved uneconomical, inefficient and ineffectual to the overall cost of immigration detention in Australia.

In related news, a boat carrying 52 asylum seekers has been intercepted off the northern coast of Australia on the weekend.  Although details are yet to be confirmed, it is believed that the people on the boat originated from Afghanistan. 

According to The Australian, Bob Debus, Minister for Home Affairs, said the asylum seekers looking to move to Australia without a visa for Australia would be detained on Christmas Island for processing.

"The Australian Government is committed to strong border security arrangements and is determined to deal effectively and appropriately with people smugglers," he said.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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