Australia defends immigration policy as keeping out 'undesirables'

By REUTERS
September 3, 2017 06:20
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Australia said on Sunday it is stopping "undesirables" such as terrorists, paedophiles, organised criminals and drug smugglers from boarding flights to the country, defending its hardline immigration policy that has drawn criticism from rights groups.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said that Australian Border Force Airline Liaison Officers were operating in major transit airports to push those threats "beyond our borders”.

Where other countries “allow people to arrive and then assess the threat then”, the “Australian model” was to bar those considered a threat.

“(Liaison officers) try to identify the threats – particularly given that we've got foreign fighters coming back through Southeast Asia and all over – the idea is to stop them getting on planes,” the minister told the Nine Network.

According to media, immigration officials prevented 1,043 passengers from boarding flights to Australia since 2013.


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