Aboriginal ‘cannot be treated as an “alien”‘

‘Lawyers… say they will press for a legal precedent [at the High Court] that a “member of the Aboriginal race of Australia” under the constitution cannot be treated as an “alien”‘

A news article from the ABC News includes the following:

The Federal Government has been accused of unlawfully locking up an Aboriginal man in immigration detention and moving to banish him from Australia — the second such case in about four months.

Lawyers for Brendan Thoms, who faces deportation to New Zealand because of his criminal history, have filed a High Court writ seeking his release and damages for “wrongful imprisonment”.

He is the second overseas-born man of Aboriginal heritage since September to go to the High Court fighting his removal under Australia’s migration laws.

Lawyers acting in both cases say they will press for a legal precedent that a “member of the Aboriginal race of Australia” under the constitution cannot be treated as an “alien”.

Mr Thoms, 38, a father of one, was detained in September after serving part of an 18-month jail sentence for a domestic violence assault.

He has convictions dating back more than a decade and his residency visa was cancelled in September under the character test of the Migration Act 1958.

Born to an Australian mother and a New Zealand father who is now an Australian citizen, Mr Thoms has lived in Australia since the age of seven but never obtained citizenship.

His mother Jenny Thoms, who has a certificate of Aboriginality confirming descent from the Gunggarri people of south-west Queensland, said her son faced removal to a country where he had no effective connection.

“We’re all pretty horrified at the thought of it, horrified from the day we learned that he was going to be detained,” she told the ABC.

“Probably one of the main thoughts in the back of my mind was that he will never see [his son] because he wouldn’t be able to come back to Australia to see him.”


Disclaimer: the above is a mere reproduction of a website. The views there expressed might not reflect the views of the Department, the AAT or the courts. The law or policies might have changed between the writing and reading of this article. The author of this article and Migration Law Updates disclaim any liability for any action (or omission) on their part based on any information provided (or not provided) in this article and are under no obligation to keep the general public nor practitioners informed about the matters discussed in this article or any other matters, or any future changes to any of those matters. It is the responsibility of each practitioner to obtain access to primary sources of law and policy by themselves and to carry out their own research and come to their own conclusions on legislation, case law, policies and more. This article is not intended for the general public.

Sergio Zanotti Stagliorio is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1461003). He is the owner of Target Migration in Sydney. He can be reached at sergio@targetmigration.com.au

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