Deportation is the forcible removal of a person from a country. Any person not granted permission to remain in Australia must be removed as soon as is practical (Migration Act 1958). DIAC deports anyone who is unsuccessful in proving their claim for refugee status. A person who is being deported for the commission of a crime can appeal the decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, which will reconsider the merits of their deportation, or to the Federal Court, who can declare a decision void. Also, a migrant who has become an Australian citizen CANNOT be deported (See article on Vivian Alvarez )

Deportation – Textbook Information (Law In Focus - Mechanisms for achieving justice)

An issue involved with the concept of deportation is the question of where the person involved will be deported. It may be possible that there will be no country willing to accept the person being deported from Australia and therefore are left to stay in a detention centre. There is also a chance that the deported person's country of origin is not willing to accept them back into the country or the person being deported may not want to go back, as a risk to his/her's safety.

The Outcomes of Deportation:

The negative outcomes of deportation are quite severe for asylum seekers or immigrants deported out of Australia. These four possible outcomes include; Death, Gaol/Jail and Disappearance. There have been many extreme case studies, as shown below, which outline the harsh reality of these outcomes.

1. Death

It was reported in Spanish paper El Espanol (September 24, 2002) and the Sydney Morning Herald (October 9 2002) the murder of Alvaro Moralez, whose claims for refugee status in Australia were refused in December 2001. Moralez was among many of Columbians seeking refuge in Australia to escape the paramilitary (part of a New Columbia Movement). The Federal Government claims that they were not responsible. for what happened to Alvaro Moralez because he departed from detention "voluntarily" and what occurred after was his own responsibility. The situation in which Moralez was faced with was the fact that the only options he was presented with was to leave voluntarily or be deported, as Amnesty pointed out.

2. Gaol/ Jail

RH (Rwandan Hutu) was a young man from Rwanda who was a stowaway on a ship which ended up arriving in Melbourne. For the next two and a half years after his arrival, he spent time being detained in Villawood Detention Centre, Port Hedland and the Perth Airport Detention facility. After appeals made to every level of appeal, he made an appeal to the Federal Court (or its equivalence) but got sick of the process and deiced to give up. On August 2, 2002, he was sent back to Kenya, escorted by security to Johannesburg and onto a plane to Nairobi. After going through customs several times in several places, he ended up in a Brothers' Community in Nairobi. Months later, he was able to reconnect with some of his Australian friends who found out about his plans to enter South Africa. However, he and his friends were detained in a Lindela prison. At the time when this account was written, RH was being detained in Durban.


In September 2000, two Iranian brothers arrived in Victoria, coming as stowaways on a ship; fleeing Iran to not face persecution in Iran after the Abadan water riots. One of the two brothers (named NS) decided to voluntarily leave, after not being able to handle the separation from his family. He was escorted on a flight to Malaysia and then put on a direct flight to Tehran, however he had disappeared; with the family having no information on what had happened with the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) saying that what happened after was not their concern. The other brother (named ND) was placed in isolation whilst being in Melbourne and despite pleas from advocates, was taken to Perth Immigration Detention Centre.
He was detained for 20 months where he suffered major health problems, such as being depressed and suicidal. In May 2002, he was forcibly removed from Perth Detention Centre and there have been unconfirmed reports that he may have possibly died but other detainees were told that he was deported, on the same ship in which he had arrived on.