Australia plans lifetime ban for illegal asylum seekers

Canberra, Oct 30 (IANS) 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, Xinhua news agency reported.

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 on Sunday 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 said.

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.

–IANS

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