Australian Immigrant and Refugee Issues

Australian government flags forcing new immigrants to live in designated zones

By Mike Head, 13 October 2018

The scapegoating of immigrants underscores the wholesale lurch to the right within the political establishment signalled by Prime Minister Morrison’s installation.

Australian government rushes to deport Vietnamese refugees

By Max Newman, 3 September 2018

After a manhunt in a Queensland rainforest, 17 Vietnamese men were rounded up for deportation “at the first available opportunity.”

Whistleblowers expose Australian government crimes at Nauru refugee camp

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 August 2018

Medical professionals have warned that children suffering severe mental illness are at risk of dying at the Australian-operated detention centre.

Right-wing senator calls for a “White Australia” immigration policy

By Oscar Grenfell, 16 August 2018

Fraser Anning’s diatribe is the logical outcome of the nationalist policies supported by the entire political establishment.

Inquest shows Australian governments directly responsible for refugee’s death

By Max Newman, 10 August 2018

Coroner rules Hamid Khazaei’s death was a “preventable” outcome of “the policy of offshore processing.”

Australia: Youth protest racist “African gangs” campaign

By our reporters, 4 August 2018

African-Australian youth rally to denounce divisive hysteria whipped up by the political and media establishment.

Australian governments illegally sailed refugee boats to distant reef

By Max Newman, 1 August 2018

Successive governments flouted the law to declare asylum seekers “offshore arrivals.”

Australian government pursues prosecution of East Timor espionage whistleblower and lawyer

By Patrick O’Connor, 31 July 2018

The prosecution of Collaery and Witness K is bound up with the wider drive toward a US-led military confrontation of China, which the Australian ruling elite is committed to supporting.

Australia: Tamil refugee deported, separated from his wife and baby daughter

By Max Newman, 23 July 2018

The treatment of Gnaneswaran and his family is akin to the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy by which children have been ripped away from their parents.

Australia: Biloela residents continue protests against deportation of Tamil refugee family

By Max Newman, 2 July 2018

A campaign by the people of a small rural Queensland town has brought to light the horrors of Australia’s anti-refugee regime.

Another suicide in Australian immigration prison camp

By Max Newman, 27 June 2018

A tragic death shows how desperate and vulnerable people are being deliberately subjected to inhuman conditions to deter others from seeking asylum in Australia.

The working class and the global war on immigrants

By Bill Van Auken, 21 June 2018

The brutality and lawlessness of the Trump administration in ripping children from their parents at the US border is part of a global war by capitalist governments against refugees.

Australian government denies palliative care to dying refugee

By Max Newman, 19 June 2018

Successive Australian governments have pioneered many of the brutal measures now being taken in Europe and the US.

Austria closes mosques and deports imams

By Markus Salzmann, 14 June 2018

The measure is a fundamental attack on the freedom of religion and expression and serves to stir up anti-Islamic and xenophobic sentiments.

Australian government rules out referendum as dual citizenship crisis escalates

By Mike Head and James Cogan, 19 May 2018

The Coalition government has moved to make it even more difficult to prove “unqualified allegiance” to Australia

Australian High Court rubberstamps “fast track” denial of refugee visas

By Mike Head, 30 April 2018

The court’s decision will help the Liberal-National Coalition government speed up the return of thousands of asylum seekers to the countries they fled.

Australian government imposes harsh financial burdens on immigrant families

By Max Newman, 25 April 2018

New migrants now have to pay more than double to bring family members to Australia.

Australian asylum seekers stripped of minimal welfare payments

By Max Newman, 11 April 2018

As of this month, over 12,000 refugees are at risk of being left destitute and forced to return to the countries they fled.

Australia proposes visas for white South Africans

By Max Newman and Mike Head, 6 April 2018

Home Affairs Minister Dutton insists white farmers deserve “special attention” for humanitarian visas.

Australia: Bileola residents protest at pre-dawn removal of Tamil refugee family

By Max Newman, 15 March 2018

People in a Queensland rural town are outraged at the pre-dawn Australian Border Force raid to seize and imprison a local family.

Australian government to deport Tamil refugee despite torture warnings

By Max Newman, 22 February 2018

Thangalingam is a victim of anti-refugee and geo-strategic policies pursued by successive Australian governments.

Australian government used ASIO to stop refugees obtaining visas

By Max Newman, 12 February 2018

A recently-published secret cabinet submission proves that the Coalition government formally asked the spy agency to stall security clearances for officially-recognised refugees.

Australia’s Manus Island refugees blockaded after sewage leaks

By Max Newman, 26 January 2018

Local residents were concerned because sewage was flowing from the unfinished detention camps into their houses.

Australian government continues deportations of New Zealanders

By Tom Peters, 17 January 2018

New Zealanders who have spent most of their lives in Australia are being detained and expelled for minor offences or on “character” grounds.

Australian workers, youth speak out against witch-hunt over “African gangs”

By our reporters, 13 January 2018

World Socialist Web Site reporters conducted interviews about the xenophobic “anti-gang” campaign being fuelled by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his government, in tandem with the Murdoch media.

Australian government spent $4 billion last year repelling or detaining refugees

By Max Newman, 12 January 2018

Budget estimates reveal the massive cost of Australia’s anti-asylum measures.

Australian government promotes racist diversion over so-called “African gangs”

By Patrick Kelly, 5 January 2018

Turnbull has sent a clear message that his government’s agenda for 2018 will consist of draconian new “law and order” measures, along with nationalist and racist hysteria.

Australia continues punitive treatment of refugees on Manus Island

By Max Newman, 5 January 2018

Despite protests and UN condemnations of Australia, the detainees confront worsening conditions.

New Zealand government prepares attack on foreign students

By Sam Price, 4 January 2018

The Labour-led government is scapegoating international students, along with immigrants, to divert attention from the real source of the social crisis.

Australian government returns refugees to Sri Lanka

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 December 2017

Successive Labor and Liberal-National governments have forcibly deported asylum-seekers to Colombo, where they face imprisonment and torture.

Australian government supports brutal assault on Manus Island refugees

By Max Newman, 27 November 2017

Turnbull’s government openly backed the violent eviction from the Australian-controlled detention camp, as part of its message to asylum seekers globally.

Australian government oversees police attacks on Manus Island refugees

By Oscar Grenfell, 24 November 2017

One of the asylum-seekers reported that yesterday’s violent incursion by Papua New Guinea state forces was directed by a representative of the Australian Federal Police.

Doctor describes “shameful” medical neglect at Australian refugee prison camp

By Max Newman, 15 November 2017

Asylum seekers detained in Nauru are “wilfully coming to medical harm” at the Australian government’s orders.

Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow is a major work, but what does the defense of immigrants entail?

By Eric London, 15 November 2017

The film is an aesthetic and political milestone and Ai’s imagery is unforgettable because it is real. But in its political orientation, Human Flow lags far behind.

Citizenship witch-hunt escalates after Australian government loses majority

By James Cogan, 13 November 2017

In a McCarthyite process, every member of parliament now has 18 days to prove they are not entitled to dual citizenship.

Australian government gives green light for violence against refugees at Manus Island

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 November 2017

The entire Australian political establishment is responsible for the desperate plight of the 600 men in the detention camp.

Australia: Thousands protest persecution of refugees on Manus Island

By Oscar Grenfell, 6 November 2017

Rally organisers sought to divert widespread anger over the dire plight of 600 refugees behind impotent appeals to the Coalition government, and support for Labor’s re-election.

Australian government starves refugees on Manus Island

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 November 2017

Contractors hired by the Liberal-National government emptied water tanks before leaving the facility Tuesday, while the Papua New Guinea navy is blocking emergency food deliveries.

Refugees on Manus Island face catastrophe at hands of Australian detention regime

By Oscar Grenfell, 1 November 2017

Asylum seekers have been left without food, water and electricity, and face the prospect of an armed assault by Papua New Guinea police and military personnel.

Australian government tries to force refugees from one prison camp to another

By Max Newman, 24 October 2017

“We explained over and over again that we would rather stay in the Manus prison without hope than face violence in Lorengau,” a refugee explained.

Tamil refugee dies in Australian detention on Manus Island

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 October 2017

Rajeev Rajendran is the sixth refugee who has died on Manus Island, and the second in just two months.

Few refugees leave Australian detention camps under US “swap” deal

By Max Newman, 29 September 2017

About 50 heavily-vetted detainees out of more than 2,000 are being transferred to unknown US locations.

Australian High Court sanctions deportations of Sri Lankan refugees

By Mike Head, 11 September 2017

The ruling is an indictment of the last Greens-backed Australian Labor government.

The dual citizenship furore in the Australian parliament: What is at stake for the working class?

By the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), 6 September 2017

The citizenship crisis is an attempt to suppress anti-war sentiment and class tensions by promoting nationalism and patriotism.

Australian government strips asylum seekers of all housing and welfare payments

By Max Newman, 4 September 2017

The government’s actions have provoked widespread outrage, with thousands of people offering sanctuary to the refugees.

Australian High Court sanctions illegal detention of refugees in Papua New Guinea

By Max Newman and Mike Head, 24 August 2017

The judges rejected a challenge to incarceration on Manus Island despite the PNG Supreme Court last year ruling it was an unconstitutional deprivation of liberty.

Australia’s refugee detention regime claims its fifth victim on Manus Island

By Max Newman, 19 August 2017

Hamid Shamshiripour’s story is one of immense psychological suffering, as well as abuse at the hands of guards, overseen by the Australian government.

Right-wing Australian senator stages anti-Muslim “stunt” in federal parliament

By Oscar Grenfell, 19 August 2017

Labor and Liberal-National MPs, who incessantly promote xenophobic nationalism, feigned moral outrage over Pauline Hanson entering parliament wearing a burka.

Australian government threatens police violence to remove Manus Island refugees

By Max Newman, 9 August 2017

Asylum seekers detained in Papua New Guinea are being physically forced to move to an insecure temporary transit centre.

Australian government shuts off power to refugees imprisoned on Manus Island

By Max Newman, 17 July 2017

Parts of the camp have been demolished and the Internet facility was taken away, leaving mobile phones as the only connection for detainees to the outside world.

Australian government summarily deports more Sri Lankan refugees

By Max Newman, 11 July 2017

Six asylum seekers were captured by the Australian Navy and forcibly deported to face possible torture and imprisonment.

Australian government’s $70 million court settlement covers up crimes against refugees

By Max Newman, 26 June 2017

A lawsuit by Manus Island detainees was halted to prevent a detailed exposure of the abuses inflicted by successive governments.

Reports expose Australian government coverup of armed attack on Manus Island detainees

By Max Newman, 2 June 2017

The Good Friday assault highlighted the dangers facing the more than 800 male asylum seekers held on the remote island.

Australian government demonises “fake refugees”

By Max Newman, 24 May 2017

Thousands of asylum seekers face forced removal to their countries of origin if they do not complete complex visa applications by October 1.

Turnbull government announces anti-immigrant “Australia first” policies

By Oscar Grenfell, 20 April 2017

The abolition of 457 visas for foreign workers and the tightening of citizenship requirements are aimed at diverting mounting social discontent in a xenophobic direction.

Papua New Guinea soldiers attack refugees in Australian-run prison camp

By Max Newman, 18 April 2017

At least three asylum seekers were injured by armed soldiers who assaulted the refugee detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

Australian government revokes Palestinian activist’s visa

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 April 2017

The anti-democratic move is part of a broader campaign to suppress opposition to the escalating US-led war in the Middle East.

Thousands of Australian asylum seekers face deportation

By Max Newman, 31 March 2017

Refugees living in limbo inside Australia have been given less than 60 days to complete visa applications.

Trump hails Australia’s draconian immigration regime

By Max Newman, 13 March 2017

The “Australian model” combines cruelty toward refugees, with a “points-based” program that discriminates in favour of employers and the wealthy.

Australian prime minister’s speech points to growing political crisis

By Mike Head, 4 February 2017

Donald Trump’s election as US president has sent shockwaves through the parliamentary elite and accelerated the global turn to trade war and war.

Australian prime minister defends Trump’s anti-immigrant bans

By Mike Head, 31 January 2017

In the face of global outrage over Trump’s measures, Turnbull undertook to strengthen relations with the new US administration.

Human Rights Watch again condemns Australia’s inhuman treatment of refugees

By Max Newman, 28 January 2017

The HRW report points to the rapidly escalating erosion of basic legal and democratic rights in Australia which continues despite previous such reports.

Australia’s “border protection” regime claims another victim

By Max Newman, 3 January 2017

Faysal Ishak Ahmed, a 27-year-old asylum seeker from Sudan, died after suffering a seizure and collapsing in an Australian-controlled detention centre.

Australia: Political instability deepens as Liberal Party faces potential split

By Linda Tenenbaum, 29 December 2016

Returning from a three-month stint in the US, where he fraternised with Trump supporters, right-wing Liberal backbencher Cory Bernardi is testing the waters for a new far-right party.

Inquest evidence shows Australian government was responsible for asylum seeker’s death

By Max Newman, 8 December 2016

The medical evidence makes clear that Hamid Kehazaei died as a direct consequence of the refugee detention regime imposed by successive Australian governments.

Australia: Desperate refugee sets fire to himself in a bank

By Peter Byrne, 22 November 2016

Nur Islam, a young Rohingya man who fled Burma, was on a temporary bridging visa, which blocked basic social and political rights, including to work.

Australian government unveils brutal refugee deal with the US

By Max Newman, 14 November 2016

On both sides of the Pacific, the world’s most vulnerable people will be denied the basic right to seek protection, while many will face permanent separation from their families.

Australian government pushes ahead with lifetime refugee ban

By Max Newman, 12 November 2016

The government remains determined to get the bill through the Senate despite widespread public opposition to its blatant violation of international law.

Doctors demonstrate against Australian government’s refugee policies

By Zac Hambides, 10 November 2016

Protest organisers made futile appeals to the Turnbull government and Labor, the very agencies responsible for the escalating persecution of the asylum seekers.

Australian government moves to bar entry to refugees for life

By Mike Head, 3 November 2016

Some of the most vulnerable people in the world, many fleeing the ravages of US-led wars, are bearing the brunt of a brazen repudiation of basic legal and democratic rights.

UN committee condemns Australia’s Nauru refugee camp

By Max Newman, 19 October 2016

The Committee on the Rights of the Child described the treatment of children in the Australian-controlled detention centre as “inhumane and degrading.”

Amnesty report: Australian government running torture detention on Nauru

By Nick Beams, 18 October 2016

Efforts by Australian politicians to sell their detention model have helped create the conditions where governments around the world are regularly in breach of international law.

Australian government claims refugee policy “best in the world”

By Max Newman, 26 September 2016

At the UN summit, Prime Minister Turnbull urged countries to adopt Australia’s “border protection” regime.

Australian political establishment embraces Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

By Mike Head, 16 September 2016

Hanson’s first Senate speech, which was given wall-to-wall media coverage, focused on vilifying Muslims, China and welfare recipients.

Few Syrian refugees yet to arrive in Australia

By Max Newman, 10 September 2016

Less than 2,000 Syrian and Iraqi asylum seekers have been allowed entry since the government’s promise to protect 12,000 people nearly a year ago.

Former detention centre workers condemn Australia’s brutal refugee regime

By Max Newman, 29 August 2016

More than 100 ex-staff members have risked lengthy jail sentences to protest against the treatment of asylum seekers incarcerated on remote Pacific islands.

Leaked files reveal brutal regime in Australia’s Nauru refugee camp

By Max Newman, 16 August 2016

The government and Labor opposition remain committed to punitive “offshore” detention as a means of deterring refugees from trying to reach Australia.

Report documents human rights violations in Australian refugee camps

By Max Newman, 8 August 2016

A report targets Ferrovial, a global infrastructure giant, which currently holds the Australian government contract to run the detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.

Amnesty report denounces Australia’s “cruel” refugee regime on Nauru

By Mike Head, 5 August 2016

The Australian government has set a brutal model for countries around the world to punish and bar entry to millions of desperate refugees.

Chasing Asylum: Exposing Australia’s brutal refugee-detention regime

By Richard Phillips, 29 July 2016

The feature-length documentary is a harrowing account of the systematic cruelty and de-humanisation of asylum-seekers in Australia’s offshore detention centres.

Documentary director Eva Orner discusses Chasing Asylum

By Richard Phillips, 29 July 2016

The filmmaker explained to the WSWS why she decided to lift the veil of secrecy on Australia’s offshore refugee detention centres.

Unicef report reveals 250 million children are victims of war

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 15 July 2016

The shocking consequences for millions of children growing up in war zones can last decades.

The Australian election and the assault on refugees

By Max Newman, 1 July 2016

Workers and youth must defend the basic rights of asylum seekers as an essential part of the struggle to unify the working class internationally.

Two refugees set themselves alight in Australia’s Nauru detention centre

By Max Newman, 4 May 2016

The Australian government has labelled the protests as acts of “self-harm” to divert from any examination of why refugees have been driven to such desperate actions.

Australia: Pseudo-lefts promote the Greens’ posturing on refugees

By Patrick Kelly, 3 May 2016

Amid widespread public outrage, the rally organised in Melbourne on Saturday served as a thinly veiled election campaign event for the Greens.

Australian government defies PNG refugee ruling

By Mike Head, 2 May 2016

The refugees remain incarcerated on Manus Island, despite Papua New Guinea’s highest court declaring their detention unconstitutional and ordering their immediate release.

PNG court declares Australian refugee detention camp illegal

By Mike Head, 28 April 2016

Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court ruling exposes the unlawful character of the Australian policy of incarcerating asylum seekers on remote islands.

Hundreds of refugees in Australia face return to offshore camps

By Max Newman, 23 March 2016

Asylum seekers who have been receiving medical treatment in Australia are threatened with being sent back to Nauru or Manus Island.

Australian media whips up fear campaign against African youth

By Richard Phillips, 16 March 2016

The state Labor government has seized on police clashes with youth in Melbourne on Saturday to demand greater police powers to “smash gang violence.”

Leaked Australian document reveals plans for mass surveillance of immigrants

By Max Newman, 7 March 2016

The Australian government is preparing continuous monitoring of immigrants and more severe visa and citizenship tests to block access to permanent residence.

Australian government refuses to help children trapped in Syria

By Mike Head, 13 February 2016

The government’s reaction to the plight of these six Australian children displays its true contempt for the millions of victims of the predatory US-led war in Iraq and Syria.

Human Rights Watch underscores Australia’s abuses of refugees

By Max Newman, 10 February 2016

The report documents Australia’s stripping of asylum seekers of basic democratic rights and the build-up of repressive police powers.

Australia’s High Court backs indefinite offshore detention

By Mike Head, 9 February 2016

The ruling sets a new global benchmark for the incarceration of innocent and desperate people in what amounts to Guantanamo Bay-style legal black holes.

Australian High Court sanctions indefinite offshore detention of refugees

By Mike Head, 4 February 2016

The decision sets a new global benchmark for the incarceration of men, women and children in conditions that amount to torture.

Doctor challenges Australian government over refugee conditions on Nauru

By Max Newman, 2 February 2016

A paediatrics professor who worked in Nauru has condemned the indefinite detention of asylum seekers as torture, defying the police-state secrecy provisions of the Border Force Act.

Imprisonment periods lengthening in Australian immigration detention centres

By Max Newman, 22 January 2016

Detainees are now being incarcerated for an average 445 days, resulting in severe mental distress.

As court bans racist rally, Australian media promotes far-right

By Richard Phillips, 12 December 2015

The media has provided blanket coverage of plans for an anti-Islamic rally in Cronulla, where racist mobs attacked Middle Eastern youth in 2005.

Indonesian government discusses offering Australia an island to detain refugees

By Max Newman, 11 December 2015

As a result of Australia’s “turn back” policy, more than 13,000 asylum seekers are now living in some of Indonesia’s most impoverished provinces.

Refugees rescued off West Timor after being dumped by Australia

By Max Newman, 30 November 2015

Asylum seekers who disappeared for a week after being intercepted by the Australian navy were found stricken in a small boat without fuel off the Indonesian coast.

Australian Greens posturing on war and refugees exposed at public meeting

By Max Newman, 28 November 2015

None of the speakers mentioned the direct connection between the refugee crisis and the war drive by the US and its allies, including Australia.