Research and write a report on the policy process using Australia’s Mandatory Detention policy as your policy for review. Utilizing your knowledge of the policy process and stages of policy formulation and implementation, critically discuss how this policy was planned, formulated and implemented. Explain whether any allowance has been made for the systematic evaluation of the policy. Pay particular attention to the issues of empowerment and participation during this process, and to equality, justice and fairness. If social policy is meant to produce greater equality, and to promote justice and fairness in society, explain whether this policy fulfills this objective.
Key stages of the policy process
The essay brings about the discussion on the Australia’s mandatory detention policy, and the stages related to it. The policy states that the Government of Australia has a policy and practice of detaining in the immigration detention facilities in respect of the non-citizens not holding a valid visa. It also includes people who are not the citizens of the country and does not hold valid visa, or suspected of visa violations, or illegal entry or have entered through unauthorised ways. It also includes people who are subject to deportation and removal in immigration detention, until the time a visa is granted to them by the immigration authorities and release them into the community. The essay thus includes the key stages of the policy process in Australia, and the discussion of the issues of empowerment, participation, and arrangements to evaluate the policy in Australia (Australian Human Rights Commission, 2018).
Discussing about the mandatory detention policy of Australia, it requires analysing the key points, history, requirements, applicability, and implementation process of the policy. The introduction of the Australia’s mandatory detention policy was in 1992, by bi-partisan support. This states that the under the sections 189, 196, and 198 of the migration act, it was assumed that all non-citizens in Australia must be detained unlawfully. Moreover, these people must be kept detained for their immigration until the time they are granted with the visa or removed from Australia. It is stated that any person who is unlawfully non-citizen of Australia and does not hold a visa (Fleay, 2015).
An individual who arrives without a visa is considered or included under this immigration detention policy. It also includes those people who are asylum seekers, wanting their protection, individuals as lawful entrants who have overstayed their visa, and those people who have had cancelled their visa for several reasons, and liable to deportation. Earlier, this policy of 1992, there were distinctions made between under the migration act between the unauthorised border arrivals and illegal entrants and deportees. Unauthorised boat arrivals were assumed to be deemed to have no entry in Australia, they were kept detained in the open areas of migration centres, but they had no permission to leave the centre. These people are also accountable on a daily basis to the Australian Protective Service (Flynn & Flynn, 2017).
In contrast, it states that the illegal entrants who have entered in Australia by fraud, deception or they had entered lawfully but subsequently overstayed their visa or breached their conditions. It is a known fact this particular kind of group was detained for 48 hours, but after that, permission is required for a period of seven days from the magistrate. In the year 1992, in respect to the migration Amendment act led to the formation of policy of the mandatory detention of designated people, applicable to the persons who arrived by the boat between 19th November 1989 to 1 September 1992 without the permission to live in Australia. The policy was used just as a measure for a particular category of persons to state about the requirements of the current situation. It was determined by the issue of the entrance of a large number of immigrants or unauthorised boat arrivals, and the need to maintain a control over the migration program. There were some changes in the mandatory policy of Australia, as there were many calls for the detainees so in response to the long-term detainees, there were some announcements made by the minister for immigration. The announcement was made in respect of new measures to manage the case of long-term immigration detainees who are not found to be known as refugees. The enquiry for the mandatory detention is designed strictly for a limited period, to obtain important information as the health, identity, security that supports a visa claim of the person. Mandatory policy apply to those persons also persons whose visa the minister mainly based on their character has cancelled detains those persons in immigration and deports them. Along with adults, children also who enter into the country without visa and obtain the services of asylum are also required to stay under detention. There is no time limit for this detention and very limited reviews were available by the courts under the migration act 1958, (Cth) the migration act (Phillips, 2015).
Issues of empowerment, participation, and arrangements to evaluate the policy
There are some of the key stages of the Australia’s mandatory detention policy, which includes the stages of the policy formulation and implementation. The Australia’s mandatory detention policy came into existence in the year 1992, mentions about the legal requirement to detain all the non-citizens without a valid visa. There were some issues faced in Australia regarding entry of the non-citizens, which directed for the formulation and implementation of the immigration detention policy (Tulich et al., 2017).
The Government of Australia identified some of the issues, as people entering the country through some unlawful means or without a valid visa. After identifying such issues, the government set measures for the planning of the social policy stating that all the unlawful citizens must be detained, until they are given permission to stay in Australia, through the grant of visa (Wilsher, 2016). This issue led to the formation of mandatory detention policy, which was set into legislation in the year 1992, and then endorsed through a major parliamentary enquiry later in the year 1994. In the later years, 1998-1999 around 3574 people were held in detention, and amongst them 926 people were the boat people and then further some more people were detained. This included the asylum seekers as they also arrived unlawfully therefore, on 1st September 1994 the policy came into force, i.e. implemented (Rae, Holman & Nethery, 2018).
The implementation or regulation of the policy in the country stated that about detaining all those non-citizens found without a valid visa, and are held responsible for the unlawful entry in the country. In addition, for all those non-citizens the 273-day detention limit was also removed (Parliament of Australia, 2018). The stage of the policy implementation demonstrated that such people, who were detained under this act or social policy are charged, i.e. the person is responsible to bear the costs of his/her immigration detention. Therefore, these points states about the emergence of issue due to some social and political concerns leading to the formation and implementation of the act or the policy of mandatory detention in Australia. After the initiation of the detention policy formulation and implementation, it was clear that just by simply arriving in the country a person could not get migration to Australia. (Sanggaran, Haire & Zion, 2016).
The participation and empowerment in the process of formulation and implementation stated that when the policy of detention came into existence in Australia, it clarified the status of the unauthorised entry of people in the country. The aim or objective behind this policy was to ensure the maintenance of the integrity of the country in fulfilling the responsibilities of the society. The social policy was meant to serve the purpose of equality, and justice to the people living in the country, who are sustaining their lives through lawful means. The objective of the policy implementation was to ensure the security of the border control and the protection of the people or citizens of the Australia from any possible external threats. The social policy of detaining unauthorised arrivals served to conclude a number of public policy outcomes, listed below (Illingworth, 2018).
Introduction and implementation of the policy
Ensuring that people with unlawful means or the unauthorised arrivals do not enter the Australian community. It was done until their claims were not properly evaluated by the internationally agreed standards. It also ensures that no person with any unauthorised way enter the country until they are assessed for their health and essential identity and character and other security issues. Therefore, the policy states about the equality to the people living in Australia and served for the equal treatment and justice to the citizens of the country. Australian government has also claimed and stated that after the formulation and implementation of detention policy the system of the country has achieved a greater degree of balance between strong immigration control and the respect for the liberty of individuals. The policy first looks for the individual’s protection and liberty as the primary goal or value for the formulation and implementation. The policy of detention in the country has other objectives as well which included that deterrence of the people who are involved in smuggling activities came into the country with a false objective or to harm the country. This means that it serves the virtues of dignity and integrity of individuals, justice, and equality of their citizenship in Australia (Pless, Maak & Harris, 2017).
To conclude the above discussion on the social policy process or formulation of the policy of detention in Australia few things have been analysed. In respect to the country, people who are non-citizens arrive into the country and do not hold a valid visa or some visa violations. This led to the formulation of the mandatory detention policy that mentioned about detaining all the unlawful citizens in the country and Australia has been found as the only country where the mandatory detention is included in the legislation. The legislation or the policy of mandatory detention was found to deter the smuggling activities of the unlawful citizens and protecting the rights and individual’s dignity in the country. Hence, the policy must be properly implemented and evaluated for the Australia’s immigration program.
Australian Human Rights Commission. (2018). Australia’s Immigration detention Policy and Practice. Retrieved from: https://www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/last-resort-national-inquiry-children-immigration-detention/6-australias-immigration
Fleay, C. (2015). The limitations of monitoring immigration detention in Australia. Australian Journal of Human Rights, 21(1), 21-45.
Flynn, M. J. & Flynn, M. B. (2017). Challenging Immigration Detention: Academics, Activists, and Policy-makers. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Illingworth, R. (2018, April). Durable solutions: refugee status determination and the framework of international protection. In The Refugees Convention 50 Years On: Globalisation and International Law (pp. 91-108). United Kingdom: Routledge.
Parliament of Australia. (2018) The Detention of Boat people. Retrieved from: https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Publications_Archive/CIB/cib0001/01CIB08
Phillips, J. (2015). Boat Arrivals and Boat'turnbacks' in Australia Since 1976: A Quick Guide to the Statistics. Australia: Canberra Parliamentary Library.
Pless, N. M., Maak, T. & Harris, H. (2017). Art, ethics and the promotion of human dignity. Journal of Business Ethics, 144(2), 223-232.
Rae, M., Holman, R. & Nethery, A. (2018). Self-represented witnessing: the use of social media by asylum seekers in Australia’s offshore immigration detention centres. Media, Culture & Society, 40(4), 479-495.
Sanggaran, J. P., Haire, B. & Zion, D. (2016). The health care consequences of Australian immigration policies. PLoS Medicine, 13(2), 1001960.
Tulich, T., Ananian-Welsh, R., Bronitt, S. & Murray, S. (2017). Protection seekers and preventive justice: Immigration detention in Australia and the United Kingdom. In Regulating Preventive Justice (pp. 117-138). United Kingdom: Routledge.
Wilsher, D. (2016). Immigration Detention: The Migration of a Policy and Its Human Impact. Refuge, 32(3), 153-155.
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