In 2019, the Minister of Immigration tried to deport two Aboriginal men from Australia. One was born in Papua New Guinea, and the other in New Zealand. Although long resident in Australia, neither had applied for citizenship. This, the Minister argued, made them eligible for deportation on character grounds after conviction for minor offences. The men challenged the idea that their non-citizenship of the colonial state nullified their belonging to places that their ancestors had occupied for at least 50,000 years. The High Court ruled by a 4-3 majority that non-citizenship does not make an Aboriginal person alien. The two concepts are not synonymous. This is significant, because it is only on the basis of alienage that the Minister has the power to deport.
|Specialist publication||Oxford Human Rights Hub|
|Publisher||University of Oxford|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Feb 2020|