New bridging visa laws that limit freedom and human rights are “shameful” and “unjust”

The Immigration Advice and Rights Centre says the bridging visa conditions passed through parliament overnight, in response to the High Court’s ruling on indefinite detention, limit freedom and human rights.

“The new laws are shameful and unjust. It’s outrageous to single out a group of people and place conditions on them that are so oppressive, they appear almost impossible to follow,” Principal Solicitor Joshua Strutt said.

“With mandatory curfews and electronic ankle devices monitoring their every move people would never feel completely free. The conditions are so restrictive a person could feel like they are still being detained,” he said.

IARC says the conditions would apply to migrants and refugees regardless of whether they have criminal convictions or not.

“They will be imposed on the bridging visa without any assessment of whether those conditions are appropriate in every case,” Mr Strutt said.

“It will mean that people who have never been convicted of a crime will be ostracised and treated like criminals in the community. For those who have committed crimes, they have already been subject to the criminal justice system, then immigration detention and will now be punished for a third time,” he

IARC says the conditions would also provide little opportunity for people to rebuild their lives after detention or integrate properly into the community.
“How could anyone build a life with a tracking device on their ankle indefinitely,” Mr Strutt said.

“The High Court ruling corrected something that should never have occurred in the first place. No government acting alone should have the power to indefinitely detain people, in detention centres or the community,” he said.

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