Social services caught inMorrison’s cross hairs

THE Immigration Bill recently passed by the Senate, with the support of six of the eight crossbench senators, has the following effects:

Australia can now interpret the UN Refugee Convention however it likes;

The government’s treatment of refugees and asylum seekers can no longer be challenged in the High Court;

Customs and navy boats are exempt from maritime laws;

The government can send boats and people to any country even if it does not adhere to the Refugee Convention;

Claims for asylum undergo a fast-track assessment, with no recourse to the Refugee Review Tribunal;

Children born in Australia to asylum seekers who arrived by boat become stateless; and

Non-refoulement obligations can be ignored so asylum seekers can be forcibly returned to places from which they have fled.

To persuade crossbench senators to support this Bill, the then Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, blackmailed them with his promise to release a number of children from detention, which he could have done at any time.

Ricky Muir, who finally voted for the Bill, stated it was a choice between bad and worse. Scott Morrison is now the Minister for Social Services.

What brutality will he inflict on the aged, the disabled and the unemployed? What bait will he use to persuade crossbench senators to support his proposals?

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