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Immigration and Citizenship

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Speech: Justice for all asylum seekers

I'm not going to mince my words here tonight. The treatment of Priya, Nades, Tharnicaa and Kopika has been nothing short of depraved A three-year-old child—who just turned four, actually, on the weekend—is in hospital because of a life-threatening blood infection. It should never have come to this. Her parents repeatedly asked for her to be taken to the hospital, to be told 'no', 'no', 'no'—over and over.

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Greens to move in Senate against India travel ban

The Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt, has announced the Greens will move in the Senate next week for the Government to revoke its direction under the Biosecurity Act to ban and put in place criminal penalties on Australians and residents returning home from India.

“The ban is racist, it’s possibly illegal, it’s not based on health advice and it must be rescinded immediately.  The Greens will move in the Senate next week to overturn the ban and we believe it will have widespread support amongst Senators.”

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Motion: Migrant Workers

I'd like to inform the chamber that Senator McKim will be co-sponsoring this motion with me. I, and also on behalf of Senator McKim, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) 2020 has been an incredibly tough year for temporary visa holders in Australia, including migrant workers and international students,

(ii) according to the Migrant Worker Justice Initiative, 70% of temporary visa holders lost their jobs or most of their hours after the pandemic hit in March,

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Speech: International Students

I have spoken numerous times in this chamber about the government's failure to support international students during COVID-19. Sadly, since I spoke on this matter in June the situation has deteriorated even further for the hundreds of thousands of international students who have been left high and dry. Students who are greedily welcomed here are then treated as cash cows.

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Motion: International Students

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) over 550,000 international students currently study in Australia, contributing immensely to our community and economy,

   (ii) many of these students are suffering enormous financial hardship at the moment due to unemployment, wage losses and instability during COVID-19,

   (iii) students have been forced to queue at food banks, live in cramped accommodation, and rely on the charity of others in order to eat and make ends meet,

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Speech: International Students'

In the last few weeks, there have been disturbing videos shared on social media channels showing queues of international students lining the streets of Sydney. These students are not lining up to wait for transport or go shopping. These students have been queuing to be given free food from restaurants and charities because they have no other way of eating. These are students who we welcomed into our country, many of whom are now facing nothing less than poverty, starvation and homelessness.

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Speech: One Nation (and others') racism on migration

I did ponder a bit whether speaking on this matter of public importance was worth it, because it clearly seeks to divide us. But, to be honest, I have had it up to here with One Nation, so I will have my say. This MPI is just another way for them to define who should be in Australia, who is deemed as 'one of us' and who is deemed as the 'other' because of what they look like or where they come from. Let me make one thing crystal clear: when One Nation talk about changing the composition of our migration program, we know what you mean.

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International Students Abandoned In Heartless Visa Announcement

Australian Greens Senator for NSW and Education spokesperson Dr Mehreen Faruqi has said that the federal government has abandoned international students to the risk of poverty and homelessness. Today the government confirmed it would provide no financial support for international student visa holders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Faruqi has called for income support for international students during the COVID-19 crisis.

Senator Faruqi said:

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