Sunday, June 23, 2024

Immigration Minister’s order allows child rapist to stay in Australia

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Labor’s immigration detainee crisis has deepened with new information revealing a child rapist was permitted to stay in Australia under orders from Immigration Minister Andrew Giles.

Mr Giles issued Direction 99 in January 2023, instructing the Australian Appeals Tribunal (AAT) to make “ties to Australia” a primary consideration during visa determinations.

Since then, more than 35 offenders, including a child rapist, have had their AAT decisions overturned and have been allowed to remain in Australia under the direction.

A New Zealand man, known as CHCY, was found guilty in 2022 of nine counts of “indecent treatment” including counts of rape against his 14-year-old stepdaughter.

On two occasions after the rape occurred, the man went into his stepdaughter’s room, entered her bed and rubbed her body. 

The 37-year-old man had committed the offences while his wife was in hospital giving birth to his youngest child.

At the time of sentencing, the judge told CHYC he would lose his visa and added he “may well be deported”.

However, due to Direction 99, the AAT found the man had been in Australia for his “formative years” after moving from New Zealand at age 17 and revoked his visa cancellation in March.

“The Tribunal finds CHCY has lived for the majority of his life in Australia working full time, making a contribution to the taxation system, the community and his family,” the AAT found.

“The Tribunal places weight on this consideration noting the Direction (99) clearly articulates tolerance should be given to non-citizens in CHCY’s circumstances.”

Under Mr Giles’ direction: “Australia will generally afford a higher level of tolerance of criminal or other serious conduct by non-citizens who have lived in the Australian community for most of their life.”

Shadow immigration minister Dan Tehan called on Mr Giles to rescind Direction 99 at a press conference held on Monday.

“To rape a stepdaughter while your partner is giving birth in hospital – what is shows is that ministerial direction (99) is clearly failing,” Mr Tehan said.

“I don’t think that you could get a worse example that that ministerial direction is clearly failing and that is why it needs to be rescinded.

“And it’s why Andrew Giles needs to come out today and explain why he won’t rescind it.”

A spokesperson for the Immigration Minister told “The Ministerial Direction places a significant emphasis on serious offending and family violence – which need to be considered in all matters.” contacted the Immigration Minister’s Office but it has not immediately responded for comment.

Similar findings have been made for other immigration detainees convicted for dozens of serious offences who have been released due to their “considerable” ties to Australia.

The Immigration Minister was grilled by media on Sunday about one such case, to which he said his department had urged the AAT to cancel the visa citing community safety.

The tribunal chose to reinstate a visa for the detainee anyway as it had to comply with Direction 99.

Mr Giles said: “It’s always important to look at these circumstances, to look at the process issues, and obviously give careful consideration to the decision.”

Peter Dutton has accused Mr Giles of either not understanding his own directions or being dishonest.

“There’s no point blaming the AAT,” Mr Dutton said on Sunday

“They gave considerable weight to the length of time the criminal had been in Australia, regardless of the seriousness of his crimes – just like Minister Giles ordered.

“Minister Giles is either incompetent and doesn’t understand what his Direction does, or dishonest and deliberately misleading the Australian public.”

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