Australia-born terrorists could be deported
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says there is value in Australia examining laws in the United Kingdom that allow for British-born terrorists with overseas-born parents to have their citizenship revoked.
The Australian understands the Abbott government is actively considering whether it would be possible to strip second-generation Australians of their Australian citizenship, forcing them to take out citizenship in the country of their parents’ birth.
The government is also looking at revoking or suspending the citizenship of dual nationals as part of a national security overhaul to protect Australia from the rise of homegrown extremists, foreign fighters, jihadi brides, hate preachers and the financiers of terrorism.
Asked about yesterday’s report in The Australian, Mr Dutton said Tony Abbott had announced during his national security speech in February that the government would look at the Citizenship Act to see whether its powers needed to be broadened.
“The principle for us which is very important is that we don’t render people stateless,’’ Mr Dutton said.
He said in Britain, which has had tougher laws for almost a decade, they had acted to revoke citizenship on 27 occasions.
“It’s used sparingly, but they decide that where somebody is involved in terrorism, in fundraising for terrorism, in training young people up to go and kill others, you’ve got to question whether or not that is in line with the allegiance and the pledge that they made when they took out their citizenship,’’ Mr Dutton told radio station 2GB.
“In the UK, they go to the next step and that is they say, well even if you’re born in the UK, if you can avail yourself of citizenship from another country because of birthrights, for example, that technically doesn’t mean that you are rendered stateless and that’s operated in the United Kingdom, with support from both sides of parliament and I think it’s something that’s worth having a look at.”
West Australian Liberal MP Luke Simpkins, who has long argued that taking the oath or affirmation of Australia citizenship has to mean something, said he “absolutely 100 per cent endorsed’’ the government being open to considering ways of stripping citizenship from dual nationals and second-generation Australians involved in terrorism.
“Here is a concept where you basically say to them: ‘Well, your citizenship has gone. You’ve got the capacity to seek citizenship in the country where your parents are from. Now you do it,’ ’’ Mr Simpkins said.
“I’ve spoken to my Iraqi community in Cowan and they endorse that sort of stuff, they are keen on taking citizenship off the troublemakers.”
Bill Shorten said while Labor offered a bipartisan approach to national security, he would not comment on proposals he had not yet seen. “Labor believes that anyone who’s gone overseas to fight in these conflicts has broken the law, and if they come back to Australia they should feel the full force of the law,’’ he said.
The government view on the Citizenship Act is expected to be unveiled in coming weeks.