Policy and Law Reform

IARC is actively involved in policy development and reform with regards to Australia’s immigration system, engaging in advocacy on law and policy reform with a view to ensuring access and equity within Australia’s immigration processes and promoting a just and equitable migration system. Our practical on the ground experience provides government and law reformers with invaluable insights into the effects, and sometimes unintended consequences, of changes to laws and legal processes. IARC supports a visa system that recognises equally the value and contribution of all migrants to Australia, be they skilled, family or humanitarian entrants.

During 2017-18, IARC made the following submissions:

Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 – Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

We provided a  submission on the ‘Citizenship Bill’. Our submission was particularly concerned with the proposed changes to the English language requirement, the proposed amendment to the provisions relating to citizenship by birth, and the proposed expansion of the Minister’s public interest powers to set aside decisions made by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. We also gave evidence in front of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee. As a result of the submission and oral evidence provided, and the submissions and oral evidence of many other stakeholders, this Bill did not pass.

Policy Consultation Paper – Visa Simplification: Transforming Australia’s Visa System – Department of Immigration and Border Protection

We provided a written response to the Department of Immigration and Boarder Protection’s policy consultation paper which focused primarily on considerations for a new visa system for Australia. Our submission argued the importance of having strong family and humanitarian visa streams within Australia’s immigration program. IARC supports a visa system that complies with our obligations under international human rights law, and is committed to a strong humanitarian program and a strong family reunification program. 

The Cameron Review – Submission to the NSW Department of Justice Review of CLC Services
The Cameron Review examined a range of issues including the type, scope and geographical spread of CLC services that should be funded by the NSW Government; the funding levels that are required to enable CLCs to deliver those services; and the funding model that should be used to inform the allocation of available funding. IARC put in a submission to this review.

Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017 – Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee

We provided a submission on this Bill, in which we expressed particular concern about the punitive measures the Bill sought to introduce into Australia’s immigration detention system.It is our view that the Bill is not appropriate in its current form. The limitations placed on the right to privacy and the right against arbitrary interference with one’s family and correspondence is not reasonable, necessary or proportionate. It is IARC’s view that the Committee should recommend that this Bill not be passed.

Inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Encouraging Self-sufficiency for Newly Arrived Migrants) Bill 2018

We gave evidence at the Senate Hearing of this Inquiry on 17 April 2018.

Review processes associated with visa cancellations made on criminal grounds – Joint Standing Committee on Migration

We provided a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s Inquiry into the review processes associated with visa cancellations made on criminal grounds. Our submission argued that decisions to cancel a person’s visa should continue to be reviewable due to the immense impact such a decision can have on an individual and his or her family.