Weekly media wrap - 16 September 2019

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee recommended the government’s proposed amendments to the Migration Act 1958 be passed, to prevent asylum seeker boat arrivals making a valid application for any Australian visa. The legislation was introduced to Parliament's lower house in July. The majority committee recommendation described the measures as ‘necessary, reasonable and proportionate’, but dissenting views came from both Labor and Greens senators on the committee.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton described the two children of the Tamil family currently detained on Christmas Island as ‘anchor babies’ being used ‘to leverage a migration outcome’. The two Tamil asylum seekers and their Australian-born daughters will remain on Christmas Island after a federal court hearing to determine whether they would be deported to Sri Lanka was delayed until 18 September.

A Newspoll survey of 1000 Australians found that 64 per cent believe asylum seekers who are considered by the courts not to be refugees should be deported, with 24 per cent saying they should be allowed to settle in Australia. This survey followed publicity last week surrounding the case of the Sri Lankan Tamil family facing deportation.

The Victorian Government announced it will contribute $3 million for crisis response to support asylum seekers on bridging visas who are impacted by federal cuts to the status resolution support services payments, which came into effect in 2018. The $3 million will provide health and support services for 6000 asylum seekers in Victoria. 

A Melbourne couple were charged with causing another person to engage in forced labour and conducting business with forced labour, allegedly keeping an Iranian asylum seeker as a slave for two years to work at their confectionery store. 

In the US, the Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to enforce new rules that generally forbid asylum applications from migrants who have travelled through another country on their way to the US without being denied asylum in that country.