The Turnbull Government is set to get even tougher on asylum seekers, with plans to ban many 'boat people' from ever getting Australian visas of any kind.
The tough new proposals, announced on Sunday, would see asylum seekers outlawed from setting foot in Australia permanently even if they turn out to be genuine refugees
"I'm announcing the government will introduce legislation in the next parliamentary sitting week to amend the migration act to prevent irregular maritime arrivals taken to a processing country for making a valid application for an Australian visa," Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Sunday.
The ban would apply to any adult dispatched to Manus Island or Nauru since July 2013.
— The Daily Telegraph (@dailytelegraph) October 29, 2016
According to NewsCorp, the new legislation banning asylum seekers from Australia "for life" will be tabled in parliament next week. If passed, it would impact around 3000 asylum seekers from Nauru and Manus receiving medical treatment in Australia and also apply to more than 1550 proven refugees.
Children are said not to come under the ambit of the tough border protection proposal.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the new measures were about fixing problems caused by Labor's immigration policy, which resulted in many boat people dying at sea.
"Today, through this legislation, we send a very clear message to all the parties concerned that Australia will never be an option for people to seek to come here illegally by boat," he told reporters.
"We'll never give up our border controls to the people smugglers again. We're cleaning up this mess.''
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop also said the proposals would send a strong message to people smugglers.
"This is a tough message we are sending to the people smuggling syndicates and those who pay people smugglers to try and enter Australia," she told the ABC.
"They won't be settled in Australia and they won't be visiting Australia. It is a tough message. We have to stop the people smuggling syndicates."
Earlier this month, intense scrutiny was back on Australia's immigration policy following the release of the Amnesty International report Island of Despair, which was highly critical of current border protection policy.
That report followed a UN report that raised questions about Nauru's treatment of asylum seeker children, finding children in Nauru faced big risks due to being held in the controversial facilities.
"Asylum seeking and refugee children face significant physical and developmental risks as a result of living in cramped, humid and life-threatening conditions in the Regional Processing Centres," the UN said.