The Federal Government’s proposed changes to citizenship laws could expose Australians to more terrorism, according to the Greens and independent senator Nick Xenophon.
- Australian citizenship could be stripped from a dual national convicted of a terrorism offence
- Xenophon and Greens want radicalised Australians jailed
- Lawyer-Common says security agencies require tools to “defeat terrorism”
- Jacqui Lambie wants assurance citizenship laws are constitutional
The Senate is anticipated to pass laws nowadays which will strip citizenship from dual nationals involved in terrorism in Australia or overseas.
But a string of crossbench senators are utilizing the debate to express their concerns.
“Do we just give up, revoke their citizenship and then let them free variety with their sick, twisted minds to do damage to Australians and to other innocents abroad?” Senator Xenophon asked in Parliament.
“Isn’t it better to be involved in counter-terrorism actions, international investigations, arrests, convictions and imprisonment?”
His view was echoed by Greens leader Richard Di Natale.
“In the end we believe the safest location for Australian citizens who have been convicted of violent acts, who are certainly criminals, is in custody here in Australia, not roaming the international stage,” Senator Di Natale stated.
The bill is anticipated to pass with Labor’s help.
Attorney-General George Brandis stated the Government was carrying out almost everything it could to shield Australians from terrorism.
“Our law enforcement and safety agencies have to be given the tools and the sources they need to have to keep us protected, and this the Government has done,” he stated.
“The measures in this bill add to our capacity to defeat terrorism.”
Below the proposed modifications, Australian citizenship could be stripped from a dual national convicted of a terrorism offence in Australia, and they could be sentenced to a minimum of six years’ imprisonment.
But it would also apply to dual citizens overseas who engage in terrorist conduct or fight with an enemy army.
Senator Xenophon said the proposed adjustments have been inconsistent with an earlier national safety bill, which aimed to avert Australians travelling overseas as foreign fighters.
“The Government mentioned we shouldn’t let folks go overseas to fight, to be involved in terrorist attacks and we ought to keep them here, but this bill is saying if you’re overseas, we never want you back in the nation,” he said.
“There seems to be an unusual dichotomy there, an uneasy dichotomy among the two.”
Lambie wants assurance that Brandis laws are constitutional
The Government has already amended the bill to improve its possibilities of surviving a Higher Court challenge.
Liberal Democratic senator David Leyonhjelm stated senators have been not provided adequate time to consider the alterations.
“These of us who have in no way noticed it ahead of — crossbench and Greens Senators — are essential to vote on it. This is profoundly undemocratic,” he mentioned.
Independent senator Jacqui Lambie supports the principle of stripping citizenship from dual nationals who “betray” Australia, but she has sought a assure from the Lawyer-Common that he would resign if the bill is rejected by the Higher Court.
“If the Lawyer-General can give me a assure, then I know he’s got some political skin in the passage of this legislation, and it hasn’t been presented right here as one more political stunt,” she mentioned.
Senator Brandis stated the Government was confident the bill was in the “very best feasible shape”, but he would not be predicting the outcome of any prospective challenge to its constitutionality.
“Nobody ought to make hard and quickly predictions about what may be decided by the High Court, and I do not intend to do so,” he stated.
“That’s a mistake that has been created by other Attorneys-Basic in the past and it really is not a mistake I intend to make myself.”
Topics: immigration, neighborhood-and-society, terrorism, federal-parliament, parliament, federal-government, unrest-conflict-and-war, australia
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