Crimmigration Law in Australia: Exploring the Operation and Effects of Mandatory Visa Cancellation, Immcarceration and Exclusion
33 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2017
Date Written: July 21, 2017
This article critically examines extensive reforms to the 'character test', contained in s 501 Migration Act 1958 - reforms that introduced an unprecedented regime of mandatory visa cancellation for non-citizens considered to be of bad character. Noncitizens subject to mandatory visa cancellation include, notably, those possessing a 'substantial criminal record'. These individuals are subject to administrative detention upon the expiration of their prison sentence, and are vulnerable to removal from Australia as unlawful non-citizens. Justified by politicians as a measure of effective crime control, visa cancellations on the grounds of bad character have increased tenfold in the last three years, as a consequence of the introduction of mandatory visa cancellation powers. The revision of the character test, and introduction of mandatory visa cancellation coheres with global 'crimmigration' trends as a means of effecting social exclusion for 'undesirable' community members. This article employs the concept of 'crimmigration' to analyse and critique the introduction, justification and administration of mandatory visa cancellation in Australia. The article argues that visa cancellation, consequential detention ('immcarceration'), attendant legal processes, and the sanction of removal, are akin to double punishment, largely because noncitizens experience these measures as punitive.
Keywords: Administrative Justice, Criminal Justice, Crimmigration, Punishment
JEL Classification: K37
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation