‘I still call Australia home’: Risk based policy and the individual impacts of s501 deportation policy on convicted New Zealanders

Ms Rebecca Powell1

1Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Since amendments were made to Section 501 (s501) of Australia’s Migration Act – visa cancellation and refusal on character grounds – in December 2014, there has been a steep, 14-fold rise in the number of visa cancellations and deportations of convicted non-citizens from Australia. New Zealanders have been particularly impacted to become Australia’s largest nationality deportee group. Many are long term residents in Australia who are well settled with established lives here. The recent amendments to s501 reflect a risk based policy response to manage convicted non-citizens in the interest of protecting community safety. In this presentation, I will unpack how the recent amendments to s501 can be understood using key characteristics of Juliet Stumpf’s crimmigration concept (2006): expansion, exclusion and membership, to illustrate how the policy has recently evolved to widen the net over convicted non-citizens. I will then tease out how this risk based policy impacts and causes harm to individual New Zealander s501 deportees, and creates a tension around their identity and belonging as long term residents of Australia transported ‘home’ to a country with which they have little connection.


Rebecca Powell is the Research and Centre Manager of the Monash Migration and Inclusion Centre. She works as a senior researcher and project manager for a number of MMIC research projects on issues associated with irregular migration, border crossings and migrant settlement experiences. She has previous experience working as an international research consultant on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons Project. Her PhD is titled ‘‘I still call Australia home’: The deportation of convicted New Zealanders under s501 of the Migration Act’


Dec 08 2021