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Australian Border Force Intervention in Criminal Matters


Over the last 15 years or more, I have observed Australian immigration policy bring Australia into disrepute internationally, and help to fuel an ever growing problem of hatred towards the West and Australia in particular in the Middle East. Recently I worked on a case to free a young Middle Eastern student accused of offences in Brisbane, while on a Student Visa. The evidence was circumstantial, and the young man had good prospects in his defence. The risk of Border Force getting involved was brought to his attention, but the client’s decision was to seek Bail as he was having a difficult time coping in the Watch House. Having secured the release of this young man on bail, Border Force immediately picked him up from the Watch House, determining that the young man’s presence in Australia “is or may be, or would or might be, a risk to: (i) the health, safety or good order of the Australian community or a segment of the Australian community; or (ii) the health or safety of an individual or individuals”. This was enough to put him in immigration detention, cancel his visa and deport him. The Police did not exercise their power to seek a Criminal Justice Visa. The Border Force officers made it clear that they were happy to act on a Police allegation as enunciated in the QP9.