Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing Cohort) Bill 2016 [Provisions]
Recommendation: The committee recommends that the Senate pass the bill
Referral 1.1 The Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing Cohort) Bill 2016 (the bill) was introduced into the House of Representatives on 8 November 2016 by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Peter Dutton MP.
On 10 November 2016, the Senate referred the bill to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report by 22 November 2016.
The Senate Selection of Bills Committee recommended that the bill be referred to examine the impact on families and children [and] compliance with Australia’s International Human Rights obligations’.
The bill, if passed, would amend the Migration Act 1958 (Migration Act) and the Migration Regulations 1994 (Migration Regulations) to indefinitely preclude ‘unauthorised maritime arrivals’ (UMAs) from making a valid application for any Australian visa. Item 1 of the bill inserts a proposed new definition in subsection 5(1) of the Migration Act. This classifies specific persons as part of a ‘regional processing cohort’. This includes individuals who were at least 18 years old and are transferred to a regional processing country after 19 July 2013, including those who:
are currently in a regional processing country;
have left a regional processing country and are in another country;
are in Australia awaiting transfer back to a regional processing country and who are taken to a regional processing country in the future; 4 and,
people temporarily transferred from regional processing countries to Australia for medical treatment and those who have since settled in another country or returned home and applies to both temporary and permanent visas.
The Report was tabled in the Senate on 22 November 2016