500 signatures reached
To: Immigration Minister Peter Dutton
Dutton: Withdraw the Citizenship Bill and process citizenship applications now
We call on Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to:
1. Respect the wishes of Parliament and make an announcement that he will withdraw his doomed Citizenship Bill.
2. Ensure that processing begins on all citizenship applications immediately, and in accordance with the current Australian Citizenship Act 2007, last amended in July 2016.
3. Ensure that all DIBP website and telephone advice accurately reflects the current Australian Citizenship Act 2007.
4. Take all measures necessary to ensure that any delayed applications can be processed by the end of 2017.
We call on all members of Parliament to assist us in ensuring that the Immigration Minister is only able to apply current citizenship law, as approved by Parliament, to citizenship applicants.
We sincerely thank the members of the Senate who have pledged to vote against the discriminatory Citizenship Bill as a whole, and we call on them to ensure that they cast their vote accordingly.
Why is this important?
A majority of the Senate are now on the record as opposing the Citizenship Bill as a whole. Even the Liberal-controlled Senate Inquiry into the Bill recommended amendments, and the Liberal-controlled Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights says aspects of the Bill are “incompatible with the right to equality and non-discrimination”.
It is clear that the bill will not pass Parliament in its current form, and is likely to be voted down entirely. Yet Peter Dutton is ignoring the wishes of Parliament and continuing to apply the Bill to all citizenship applications his Department has received since April 20 2017. As of 21 September, the Department is continuing to advise applicants by letter, website, and telephone that the “old law” will not apply to them, despite it being the only current law in force. Instead applicants are being told that if they do not meet the criteria of the new Citizenship Bill, which has not been approved by Parliament, their applications will be rejected. The previous “residency calculator” has been removed from the DIBP website, and there are reports that people are being blocked from applying for citizenship at the time that they would have become eligible according to previous DIBP advice.
Please help end the confusion and sickening uncertainty migrants have endured simply as a result of wanting to make Australia their home. We must also recognise that this government’s attack on citizenship began well before 20 April 2017, with the Government’s refusal to offer citizenship ceremonies to 10,231 refugees who have completed all the requirements for citizenship, including passing the test.
Senate Inquiry into the Citizenship Bill, 5 September 2017: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Legal_and_Constitutional_Affairs/CitizenshipBill2017/Report
Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights report, 12 September 2017, p.49: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Human_Rights/Scrutiny_reports/2017/Report_10_of_2017
Nick Xenophon Team statement on the Citizenship Bill, 13 September 2017, 1709pm:
Refugees arbitrarily denied citizenship ceremonies: