The federal government yesterday announced the creation of an Orwellian super department under the control of former Queensland police officer, Peter Dutton.
The new “Department of Home Affairs” will include the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (itself the product of merging the Australian Customs Service with the Department of Immigration into a veritable “border security” paramilitary), the Australian Federal Police, and ASIO.
Under Peter Dutton, Australia’s already deplorable Department of Immigration was combined with the Customs Service to create an armed black suited paramilitary force that spends more money on medals than the military.
As immigration Minister, Peter Dutton has been responsible for maintaining Australia’s brutal system of “offshore detention” system. Under Peter Dutton’s watch, more asylum seekers have been killed than resettled on Manus and Nauru, and these camps continue to record a critical incident almost every single day.
So far, six people have died in Immigration detention facilities under Dutton’s control, seven others have committed suicide in circumstances likely the product of the immigration system.
When Peter Dutton entered Parliament in 2001, he highlighted his priorities as attacking on refugees and civil liberties. In his frankly bizarre maiden speech to the Parliament, Dutton showed a particular obsession with the Refugee Action Collective, the Civil Liberties Council (whom he described as “criminal lawyers”).
This disturbing, bitter, and nasty little man, a person responsible for the ongoing torturous treatment of of men, women and children on Nauru and Manus Island, now has a national police force and a spy agency at his disposal.
At the same time the government was announcing plans to merge responsibility for ASIO, AFP and DIBP into a single department, DIBP called for tenders. The government plans to privatize large aspects of the tradition function of the Department of Immigration.
— Nadine Flood (@NadineFloodCPSU) July 18, 2017
According to the Canberra Times:
the government has floated changes to its immigration system letting companies administer tests, detect fraud and recommend decisions to grant or refuse visas
A privatized immigration system would effectively outsource the assessment of most visas applications. The government invitation for tenders flags the possibility of a largely automated system, with immigration staff only having input on “complex matters”.
People who’ve experienced the Centrelink robo-debt debacle can no doubt attest, this is a great idea that couldn’t possibly go horribly horribly wrong.