Australia’s new migration laws could be a close finish

Australia’s politicians are cutting it fine, as they look to pass new strict migration laws, that could see hundreds more New Zealanders deported each year.

Scott Morrison.

The ‘Strengthening the Character Test’ amendment being debated in the Senate on Tuesday aims to give the immigration minister more powers to deport non-citizens.

The policy is already controversial, and the new amendments widely predicted to increase New Zealand’s opposition to it.

However, the Morrison government only has two more Senate sitting days to get the legislation through.

Tuesday's sitting has a brief hour and a half window to process bills, with the amendment currently sitting at eight on the list.

With speeches around the latest budget also likely to take up time, there’s a chance the legislation will be bumped to the final sitting day before the Federal Election.

While no firm date has been set down, the latest the election can take place is May 21, 2022.

Morrison wants this legislation passed ahead of the election campaign, as crime is likely to be a big talking point.

When announcing the amendment would be introduced for a third time, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said it was to "protect the Australian community from harm".

Read more: New Aussie deportation laws could see more Kiwis thrown out

However, he openly admitted this was a "test for Labor" and told reporters that he wasn’t open to amendments.

“The reason we’ve set this test for Labor is that Labor is, after two years of opposing this bill, seeking to run from the house and block it in the Senate.”