Australia has unveiled tough new plans to bar any asylum seekers who try to reach the country by boat from ever being able to enter. The lifetime ban on visas would apply even to those travelling as tourists, for business, or who married an Australian.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the move would send “the strongest possible signal” to people-smugglers.
The proposed ban is to be put to parliament later this week. Australia transports asylum seekers who arrive by boat to off-shore processing centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.
Even if found to be genuine refugees, they are already blocked from being resettled in Australia. They can either return home, be resettled on Manus or Nauru, or go to a third country.