The exercise – called Operation Fortitude – will be carried out on Friday night and Saturday and will involve Australian Border Force (ABF) officers, as well as representatives from Victoria Police, Metro Trains, Yarra Trams, the Sheriff’s Office and Taxi Services Commission.
The initial announcement on Friday was met with disbelief on social media, with Senior Advisor to Senator David Leyonhjelm Helen Dale tweeting the words “papers please” in German.
A Department of Immigration and Border Protection spokesperson said Border Force “does not and will not stop people at random”.
“ABF officers will assist partner agencies by conducting background visa checks on individuals who are referred to us,” the spokesperson said.
“… The ABF does not target of the basis of race, religion, or ethnicity.”
However, an earlier statement issued by ABF quoted Regional Commander for Victoria and Tasmania Don Smith stating that officers would be “speaking with any individual we cross paths with”.
Mr Smith said that the operation was part of a “mission” to create a “secure and cohesive society”.
“You need to be aware of the conditions of your visa; if you commit visa fraud you should know it’s only a matter of time before you’re caught out,” he said.
Other questions put to the Immigration Department by SBS were not answered.
Under the Migration Act, an officer may require a person “whom the officer knows or reasonably suspects is a non-citizen” to present evidence of their identity or citizenship status.
The operation will target people travelling to, from and around the Melbourne CBD.
For more news and updates, assistance with your visa needs or for a Free Assessment of your profile for Immigration or Work Visa’s just visit www.y-axis.com
Border Force will not stop people at random in Melbourne: Immigration Department
Posted on September 28, 2015