Australia plans to strip citizenship from Australian-born children of immigrants who become fighters for the militant group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in its crackdown on homegrown jihadis, a minister said on Thursday.
The government wants to change the Citizenship Act to make fighting for ISIS a reason for losing citizenship, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said.
The government also wants to adopt the British legal model by revoking the citizenship of extremists who are Australian-born children of immigrants or an immigrant, forcing them to take up citizenship in the birth country of their parents, or parent, Dutton said.
It also would apply to dual citizens. “The principle for us, which is very important, is that we don’t render people stateless,” Dutton told Sydney Radio 2GB.
Australia can currently only revoke citizenship in cases of fraud in the citizenship application or where an Australian citizen joins the armed forces of another country to fight Australia.
Because the Islamic State movement is not recognized as a state, membership is not a ground for losing Australian citizenship, Dutton said
“I can hardly walk down the street without people saying: ‘Why do you let these people back into our country? They come back more radicalized,”‘ Dutton said.
“They are a huge threat to Australian citizens. We should act and that’s what the government is doing,” he added.
The 17-year-old son of a Syrian-born doctor arrested at the family home in Melbourne city two weeks ago became Australia’s latest accused terrorist. Police allege he had three pipe bombs concealed at the house and was planning an attack soon.
The teen, whose name cannot be released, became the 23rd suspect charged with terrorism-related offences in Australia since September when the national terrorism threat was elevated to the second highest level because of the Islamic State danger. A third of the terrorism charges in Australia filed since the al-Qaeda attacks on the United States in 2001 have come since September.