Time for an amnesty


It is time to offer an amnesty for those visa overstayers who can demonstrate they are of good character and have substantial ties in Australia, according to Anne Coombs in Griffith REVIEW 10: Family Politics. The Department of Immigration estimates that there are more than 50,000 visa overstayers in Australia, approximately 30 per cent of who have been here for over ten years. Each year about 10,000 are deported.

Coombs, one of the founders of Rural Australians for Refugees, argues that when considering the cases of visa overstayers, more account should be taken of their ties in Australia to families, communities, professions, and the contribution they have made to Australian society.

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