The Australian politician who wants to expedite visas for white South African farmers has a history of making controversial statements, and opposition parties and various human rights groups in his country have slammed him on several occasions for being a racist, white supremacist.
Australia's minister for immigration and border protection Peter Dutton reportedly said that his department is considering fast-tracking the visas of white South African farmers looking to emigrate to Australia, because the group deserves "special attention" owing to the "horrific circumstances" they face in South Africa.
Please tell me this is a joke. He doesn't care about our first people forced off their land or West Papuans moved aside by Indonesia. He doesn't care about the Rohingya in Myanmar or climate refugee countries. These people deserve special attention.— Wampy (@AussieRock) March 14, 2018
The Guardian on Wednesday quoted Dutton as saying: "If you look at the footage and read the stories, you hear the accounts, it's a horrific circumstance they (white farmers) ... from what I have seen they do need help from a civilised country like ours."
Dutton has come under fire repeatedly for a series of policy decisions and statements regarding immigrants and people of colour living in Australia.
Peter Dutton proving once again that white supremacy has no subtlety— Poet Laureate (@realDeanCool) March 14, 2018
In fact, his wanting to open Australia's gates to white South African farmers stands in stark contrast to statements he made earlier this year.
Dutton told Australia's 2GB Radio last month that the country must reduce its intake of migrants, unless they can work outside the major cities in labour-intensive jobs that locals are not prepared to do.
He reportedly said Australia's migration programme should always "be operated in a way that it acts in our best interests", such as refusing to allow migrants who were "going to be a burden" in favour of people who "make a good contribution".
Peter Dutton suddenly caring about South African farmers. Perhaps now everyone can finally acknowledge that "stopping the boats" was always really "stopping brown people" https://t.co/btGUlweDzc— Ben Eltham (@beneltham) March 14, 2018
He said some sectors, like abattoirs in regional areas, needed a foreign or temporary workforce because "the local kids won't do the work". Earlier this month, Dutton told another Australian radio show that government was renewing a push for laws that would force prospective citizens to pass a tougher English-language test.
In January, the Daily Mail reported that Dutton was mocked on social media after claiming people in Melbourne are "scared to go out at restaurants" at night because of "gang violence committed by African migrants".
"The reality is people are scared to go out at restaurants of a night time because they're followed home by these gangs, home invasions, and cars are stolen," he reportedly said.
And in 2016, HuffPost Australia reported that Dutton came under fire for claiming refugees "would be taking Australian jobs" or "languish in unemployment queues".
"They won't be numerate or literate in their own language, let alone English... These people would be taking Australian jobs, there's no question about that. For many of them that would be unemployed, they would languish in unemployment queues and on Medicare and the rest of it, so there would be huge cost and there's no sense in sugarcoating that, that's the scenario," he reportedly said.
Also in 2016, Dutton claimed that allowing Lebanese-Muslim refugees into Australia in the 1970s was a "mistake", sparking international outrage. He accused them of being terrorists.
"The advice I have is that out of the last 33 people who have been charged with terrorist-related offences in this country, 22 of those people are from second and third-generation Lebanese-Muslim background," he reportedly said.
Approached by HuffPost for a response to Dutton's remarks, the Australian high commission in Pretoria declined to comment.