Canberra – The Coalition has announced plans to ease up the visa policy for foreigners involved in minor crimes amid news that immigration issues are on top of the political agenda in the coming September elections.
The group said they plan to leave out minor crimes in the visa policy in case they win the federal elections. They added that they will not also deport nor revoke the visas of foreigners who have been charged of minor crimes.
According to the news, the Coalition has a major plan to strengthen the country’s immigration policy, especially against criminals from other countries are punished for at least one year imprisonment. These criminals may be deported and face ban for up to 20 years, which is double the current penalty.
The Coalition, however, made it clear that minor crimes such as public order offences and other miscellaneous offences are excluded from this. They said the new policy will not apply to certain crimes as defined by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Offence Classification.
Under this classification, offences are categorized into 16 divisions in which public offences include ‘disorderly and offensive conduct’ while miscellaneous offences include ‘defamation and public or private health and safety offences’.
Under the planned rules, deported criminals or those whose visas have been cancelled have to appeal the decision.
Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor however said these issues have already been addressed in the Migration Act.