Moore arrived in Australia from Scotland aged 11. Almost 30 years and a string of convictions later, Australia decided he had failed its character test and cancelled his visa.Moore had permanent resident status (rather than citizenship), a status that could be revoked and indeed was so by the relevant Minister. An appeal, in Moore v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship  FCAFC 134, against the Minister's decision to revoke his visa - non-citizens essentially remain in Australia at the government's pleasure - and hence deport him back to the UK, was unsuccessful.
On October 20, after a decade-long stretch in jail and immigration detention and despite serious health problems that were known to Australian authorities, Mr Moore was sent "home". Leaving behind a teenage son and his extended family, the 43-year-old recovering alcoholic was released at Heathrow Airport at 6am with $1000 cash, medication and a hotel booking. Two days later he was dead.
... Moore's death has shone a spotlight on Australia's practice of washing its hands of up to 70 people a year who are Australian in all but citizenship - and often seriously unwell.
Unlike the cases of Cornelia Rau and Vivian Alvarez Solon, they attract little sympathy because they are convicted criminals. Some, such as Robert Jovicic and Ali Tastan, have been allowed to return after being found destitute and ill living on foreign streets.
Others, such as so-called "one-woman crime wave" Patricia Toia, have strained diplomatic relations by allegedly committing crimes upon arrival in the country of their birth.
The failure of the appeal reflected Moore's criminal history, evident primarily in R v Moore  VSC 115 and R v Moore  VSCA 33. In the March 2001 judgement Justice Vincent in the Supreme Court of Victoria imposed a sentence of imprisonment for a period of nine years, with a minimum non-parole period of seven years. At the expiry of the custodial sentence Moore was transferred to the Immigration Detention Centre at Maribyrnong. He was subsequently deported.
The migration department has denied responsibility for his death, indicating that -
The Department made all appropriate arrangements for his return. The Government does not consider itself responsible for Mr Moore's untimely death and extends its condolences to his family and friends for their loss.The Minister is reported as stating that 'he remains determined to deport foreign-born residents convicted of serious crimes, no matter how long they have been here', with around 70 people per year being deported for 'character reasons' (up to 40, including Ms Toia, back to New Zealand).
The SMH indicates that the offences are typically drug-related or involve property and theft crimes, armed robbery or assault, with offenders sometimes spending more time in immigration detention than in jail. It quotes Michael Grewcock of UNSW Law as commenting that -
in virtually all cases, multiple forms of additional punishment beyond those envisaged or sanctioned by the sentencing court are inflicted upon the prisoner. This not only has damaging individual consequences but also has the potential to undermine parole, risk assessment and the nature of the sentencing process as a whole.Grewcock's recent 'Multiple punishments: the detention and removal of convicted non-citizens' is here.
Moreover, the operation of s501 [of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth)] allows for inconsistent and discretionary political interventions against unpopular and often very vulnerable prisoners.