Dutton Said Deporting Au Pairs Would Be "A Bit Rough"
How about those kids on Nauru?
Peter Dutton thought it would be "a bit rough" to deport a French au pair so he personally stepped in to issue a visa to her, amid reports the Home Affairs Minister acted against advice from his own department.
The French au pair -- 27-year-old Alexandra Deuwel -- was saved from deportation in 2015 after AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan lobbied Dutton's office.
The au pair had previously worked for a relative of McLachlan.
"I looked at it and thought it's a bit rough, there's no criminal history, she's agreed that she wouldn't work while she was here," the home affairs minister said on radio station 2GB on Thursday.
"As I understand it, she never overstayed the visa, hasn't committed any offences, and I thought it was an application of common sense," he said.
An ABC report on Thursday revealed Dutton had gone against advice of the Australian Border Force to issue a visa to the woman.
Dutton is subject to a senate inquiry over two other cases where he personally intervened to stop the deportation of young foreign visitors.
In the first case in June 2015, the au pair reportedly made a phone call and had a new visa approved within hours; in November that year, Dutton ignored warnings from his department that granting a visa to a second au pair would be of "high risk" as she had been warned about work restrictions before.
On Tuesday, The Guardian revealed Dutton had intervened on a third au pair case in October 2015.
On Thursday, Dutton defended his actions in that case.
READ MORE: What's The Go With The Au Pairs?
“I’ve got lots of enemies in the media running around at the moment trying to get square for recent events and the rest of it. They can run all of this nonsense."
Dutton also called a current Senate inquiry into the au pair issues "dodgy".
“Let them play their games. For me, there are lots of important issues to concentrate on," he said.
"I am a person of integrity. I’ve never been compromised. I never will."
"People can say lots of things about me but they won’t say that I act inappropriately. I make decisions on the merits of these cases, that's exactly what I've done, and I stand by the decision."
Dutton has made a name for himself as a "hard man" of immigration policy, knocking back children, women and men who arrived in Australian waters as asylum seekers -- some of whom were later found to be genuine refugees -- were deported to Australian-run detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island.