Scott Morrison has proposed new laws to make it easier to strip Australian citizenship from extremists convicted of terror offences
The proposed new laws would allow a minister to strip Australian citizenship from a convicted terrorist if they were “reasonably satisfied” the person was entitled to foreign citizenship in another country, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
It would also stop foreign fighters returning to Australia for two years.
Under current laws, the Federal Government can only strip citizenship from people who have been sentenced to at least six years in jail.
“Terrorists have violated everything about what being an Australian is all about,” Morrison told reporters in Sydney on Thursday.
“It’s a crime against our country, not just against other citizens, and this is something that can’t be tolerated and permitted.
“And for those who have engaged in this sort of activity, if they have citizenship elsewhere, and we reasonably believe they do, well they can go, that’s our clear message.”
According to the report, the government will review the backgrounds of some 400 terrorists being monitored by ASIO to determine whether they are dual-citizens or are entitled to acquire a foreign citizenship.
Speaking on the Today show this morning, Morrison added: “We do it for others who we deport back who commit crimes in Australia — we cancel their visas and deport them. They would fall into this category, just like someone who was on a visa and who committed a crime. Once they got out of jail, they’d be on a plane and we would send them home.”
Legislation is due to be introduced in coming weeks, and comes in the wake of the deadly Melbourne terror attack earlier this month.
Somali-born Australian Hassan Khalif Shire Ali went on a rampage in Melbourne’s Bourke Street on November 9, stabbing three people before being shot in the chest by police.
Video footage showed Shire Ali first driving his ute down Bourke Street and setting it on fire before attacking police and bystanders with a knife.
The 31-year-old, who was apparently known to authorities, later died in hospital from his wounds.Restaurant owner Sisto Malaspina, 74, was killed during the knife attack.