Home Affairs warns policy change could bring an influx of fake gay refugees

The Department of Home Affairs has warned that a change in policy that makes it easier to accept LGBTI refugees from overseas could see an influx of false claims based on sexuality.

The Labor party is expected to debate the issue at their upcoming national conference. Members of the party’s left faction are reportedly going to propose that people who are fleeing their home countries because of persecution over their sexuality should be more easily recognised as refugees in Australia.

The Department of Home Affairs, headed by Minister Peter Dutton, has warned that any policy change could see an influx of people falsely claiming to be gay, lesbian or transgender.

“Offering blanket protection to a group of individuals has the potential to encourage large numbers of un-meritorious applications from those who would seek to abuse the protection program to extend their stay in Australia,” a department spokesperson told News Corp.

Labor Senator Doug Cameron said Australia should recognise cases of people being persecuted because of their sexuality.

“Australia’s a signatory to the various treaties so they’ve got an obligation to do this anyway,” Senator Cameron told The Daily Mail.

Labor MP Graham Perrett also said it was important that we protect people from being sent back to countries where they could potentially face the death penalty. Perrett however believes the current laws allow sufficient protections.

LGBTI people hoping to immigrate to Australia through the immigration program, or as refugees often find it difficult to reach the required burden of proof about their sexuality.

Last year the Sydney Morning Herald highlighted how difficult it can be for refugees to prove that they are homosexual, and that they face serious danger and even death if they are sent back to their home country.   

Previously applicants have been turned down for not living up to Western stereotypes of what a gay man should look like. These included documented cases where applicants have not known enough about Madonna and Bette Midler, or have been criticised for not spending enough time on Sydney’s Oxford Street.

There are also cases where it has been suggested that applicants have pretended to be gay to gain Australian residency.

Earlier this year a case was highlighted where a man who had racked up 30 criminal convictions since arriving in Australia in 1999 was being threatened with deportation. THe man had fathered several children since arriving in Australia. He had claimed to be gay and Christian, but it was suggested he was neither.

Speaking generally on the issue, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said he would have no time for people who tried to falsely claim a sexuality.

“We’re concentrating on people who are posing serious threats and we aren’t going to be taken for a ride by people pretending to be of a sexual orientation when they’re not because they think that gives them a particular visa outcome.” Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told News Corp’s Miranda Devine.

OIP Staff, stock image. 


 

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