Major Immigration Review over Security Concerns

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is going to be conducting a major review to give way to the improvement of decision-making processes for visa and citizenship as a result of intensifying concerns regarding national security.

The review is going to be conducted by Mr Peter Vardos, the deputy secretary of DIBP, and it is going to cover recommendations to give strength to the legal and policy framework concerning citizenship and visas.

This progress is brought forth amid a crackdown on national security of the federal government, and also has to do with border protection and the increasing threat coming from terrorism.

A joint report from the federal government and the New South Wales government into the siege in Sydney's Lindt Cafe, which was released on Sunday. Cleared a number of government authorities for not being able to discover the threat posed by Man Haron Monis, the siege gunman. The report, however, recommended that changes be made to the immigration system.

According to Mr Michael Pezzullo, the boss of the Immigration department, the review is going to examine how the decision-making processes regarding visa and citizenship matters can be improved. This will include the capabilities and tools needed to smoothen the flow of over 5 million visitors while the community is continuously being protected.

It shows that there is a need to re-examine how the decisions were made so the expected rise in visa applications can be dealt with properly, as well as the existing global trends in labour mobility, migration, trans-national crime, and national security.

''We will empower our officers to say 'no' more often where circumstances warrant and within the law,'' Mr Pezzullo said in Canberra on Monday at a Senate estimates hearing.

This can be made possible by the better use if information, data analytics,and intelligence, as well as making sure that staff has received sufficient training and support to make adverse decisions that are defensible.

The review is going to start on the second of March.

Mr Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister of Australia, is going to briefly outline the sweeping changes to make sure that border security, especially around citizenship, is toughened up.

In a statement, that responds to the recommendations of a counter-terrorism review that was commissioned in 2014, Mr Abbott is going to say "on all the metrics, the threat to Australia is worsening".

''The number of foreign fighters is increasing, the number of known sympathisers and supporters of extremists is increasing, and the number of potential terrorists, including many who live in our midst, is rising as well,'' the Prime Minister said.

The prime minister is going to make this statement at the Australian Federal Police headquarters in Canberra at 11am.

Source: by Karlis Salna


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