Australia’s deportation policy is so “corrosive” that it has soured its bilateral relationship with New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, a rare bust-up between the two historic allies.
Australia’s conservative government has in recent months moved to deport thousands of foreigners convicted of crimes as part of an immigration crack-down that can also strip dual-nationals of their Australian citizenship. The move has seen hundreds of people deported from Australia to New Zealand, a country that some left when just children and have few ties to.
The two countries have fought in numerous conflicts alongside each other, and squabbles between the two rarely break-out beyond playful, light-hearted banter over sport and culture. Roughly 650,000 New Zealand citizens – more than a tenth of the smaller country’s population – live in Australia. Morrison, however, was unapologetic and promised no change in Australian policy.