“Parliament should have the right to refuse entry to or deport foreign leaders on the basis of their character.” Those were the words of Nick McKim, Australia’s immigration spokesman, as lawmakers on Wednesday moved to block Donald Trump from visiting Australia.
According to several news outlets, the Greens are moving to amend Australia’s visa laws to give parliament the power to block any foreign leader from entering Australia on the grounds of character, saying their amendment has been designed with the US president in mind.
The lawmakers claim that Trump’s racist and xenophobic policies and opinions, and his contempt for the rule of law, ought to bar him from getting a visa.
“Just to name a few of his myriad character flaws, Trump has green-lighted sexual assault on women, mocked people with disabilities, displayed consistent racist and xenophobic opinions and policies, and contempt for the rule of law,” Nick McKim, said on Wednesday.
McKim’s office has circulated an amendment to the migration amendment (character cancellation consequential provisions) bill 2016, which they expect to go before the Senate on Wednesday evening.
The amendment extends the immigration minister’s power to cancel visas on character grounds to give parliament the power to cancel visas of foreign leaders.
The Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, told reporters this week that he wanted to use the first week of parliament of 2017 calling for a renegotiation of the Australia-US alliance, saying it no longer served the country’s interest, according to The Guardian.
The report highlights Greens senator Scott Ludlam’s spirited attack on Trump in the Senate chamber, saying his behavior and policies were “fascism in larval form” and calling for an immediate renegotiation of the alliance.
“Donald J Trump inherited President Obama’s drone assassination program and his global mass surveillance apparatus,” Ludlam said. “But President Obama is no longer in charge to prevent the misuse of those tools.”
“The tools are all there, all it requires is an administration paranoid enough, arrogant enough, deranged enough, to turn the key. A register of Muslims. Promotion of the intelligence value of torture. Overwhelming contempt for the journalists and news organizations who are tasked to hold him to account. Casual hostility to the rule of law.
“This is not a time to cave in. This is a time to stand up. Not in order to return to the deadening neoliberal status quo, but to remind ourselves that another world is possible. This is a time to resist.”