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Senate refers Malaysia asylum seeker deal to inquiry

The Senate has this afternoon agreed to send the Malaysia deal to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report back by September 22, 2011.

"The Greens have welcomed the Senate's decision to refer the inhumane Malaysian people swap deal to an inquiry because it will finally give the parliament the chance to scrutinise an arrangement which the government has refused to table," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

"Although both houses of parliament have condemned the Malaysia deal, the government remains intent on proceeding by using laws created in the wake of the Tampa incident of 2001.

"There are so many questions about the deal which need answers, such as the role of the Immigration Minister who is the legal guardian of unaccompanied children and is meant to provide a duty of care to protect their best interests.

"Numerous human rights, health and legal experts in Australia and Malaysia have expressed their opposition to the deal, and the Greens hope they and others will make public submissions to the inquiry."

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