In December the Senate voted to block legislation to reintroduce Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs).
Instead the government reintroduced “temporary humanitarian concern” visas by regulation, meaning parliamentary support was not needed.
But that regulation has now been disallowed by Labor and the Australian Greens in the Senate.
Immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young introduced the disallowance motion.
“This was obviously a regulation to re-introduce Temporary Protection Visas effectively through the back door Mr President. The reason I say that is that this place debated this issue at length and we resolved this issue back in December. But despite the government taking on board the will of the parliament, the will of the Senate, they waited until everybody went on
Meanwhile, the federal government has introduced legislative changes which would enable it to deport asylum seekers who have applied for bridging visas.
There are about 20,000 people on bridging visas in Australia.
Introducing plans to amend the Migration Act, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told parliament current legislation is not consistent with government policy.
This is to ensure that a bridging visa application is not an impediment to the removal of a person under sub-section 198-5 of the act. Currently sub-section 198-5 of the act does not explicitly cover situations where a detainee has applied only for a bridging visa which has resulted in a small cohort of detainees being unable to be removed from Australia. This amendment now clarifies the wording of sub-section 198-5 to ensure the correct operation of the removal policy intent.
The proposed changes also protect asylum seekers from being deported if they’ve applied for a protection visa but have not yet recieved a determination.
Another proposed amendment to the Migration Act would allow information obtained under a search warrant to be used in visa and citizenship decisions.
A third amendment would make convicted people smugglers repay the government for the cost of their detention.