Carabooda workers - Image,

Carabooda workers – Image,

At what point will the Immigration department address the issues raised last night by the Four Corners Programme? The issue that has been raised relates to Immigration fraud and the story can be read here:

There are so many of these instances arising all the time and it beggars belief that the Immigration department is still dithering as to what they should be doing. In addition the current government has indicated that they will be moving to minimise the amount of paperwork and prudential control that they impose as these issues will be sorted out by market forces.

Let’s go back over some of the instances of these issues playing out in recent years:

“Mr Bowles, the Secretary of the Immigration Department, says the allegations are serious and call into question the integrity of Australia’s migration and visa programs.

“These allegations, including that migration fraud is going undetected and is not being appropriately investigated, are of great concern to me,” he said in a statement.

The leaked immigration files showed repeated warnings that visa fraud and migration crime was widespread due to the collapse of the department’s investigation and enforcement capacity.

Mr Bowles says the Immigration Department is doing its utmost to combat fraud, but he says this is a “challenging space” and people will always try to thwart the system and enter Australia on a fraudulent basis.

“There is rigour in the department’s processes but there is also always room to improve,” he said.

The Department head says there will be an investigation into the leak of internal documents to journalists.

“I am looking into this as not only is it against the APS Code of Conduct and entirely inappropriate, such documents taken in isolation are not reflective of the full picture.”

What strikes me as the oddest part of Mr Bowles statement above is the last line wherein he says that the Department was going to undertake “an investigation into the leak of internal documents to journalists”. So it is not about attending to the substantive allegations of fraud, it is about the leak of documents relating to that fraud that is going to be a priority for the department.

And whilst this is occurring the department is continuing to perpetrate acts of discrimination against people with disabilities. The most recent of these is the case of Dr Siyat Abdi. (I must disclose herein that Siyat is a person I have known for a number of years and works for me at the Epilepsy Association and also at the Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre). Details of his case are here:

His case follows a whole series of others that have occurred in recent years. These cases, inter alia, involve the following people:

There is much that needs to be done to restore our faith in the integrity of the processing by the department of these cases. I hope that these things will be put into place to do precisely this.