Past–Present Differential Inclusion: Australia’s Targeted Deportation of Pacific Islanders, 1901 to 2021


In Australia, past and present, Pacific Islanders have been labelled as undesirable others, included to temporarily fill labour shortages as required, controlled while resident in the country and removed when no longer deemed necessary. Pacific Islanders’ experiences in Australia reveal the inception, continuity and durability of differential inclusion produced by border control mechanisms. This paper traces Australia’s history of deporting Pacific Islanders over more than a century: from indentured labour and blackbirding, colonial occupation of Pacific Islands and the White Australia Policy, to more recent patterns of selective inclusion, such as the labour mobility schemes, to the disproportionate effects on Pacific Islanders of modifications to the criteria for deportability introduced in 2014 with the amendments to Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth). By tracing the past–present circular border policies, this paper argues that the high number of Pasifika New Zealanders deported from Australia represents a continuation of a regime of differential inclusion.

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Published: 2023-03-01
Pages:42 to 55
Section:Special Issue: Historical Criminology
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How to Cite
McNeill, H. and Marmo, M. (2023) “Past–Present Differential Inclusion: Australia’s Targeted Deportation of Pacific Islanders, 1901 to 2021”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 12(1), pp. 42-55. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.2743.

Author Biographies

The Australian National University

Henrietta McNeill is a PhD Candidate with the Department of Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University. Her research interests are criminal deportations to the Pacific Islands, security cooperation, and transnational crime. She was a 2021-22 Fulbright New Zealand General Graduate Awardee.

Flinders University

Associate Professor Marinella Marmo is the Director of Teaching Program of Flinders Criminology. She holds a PhD in Applied Social Science (University of Lancaster, UK) and an LLB Hons (Università di Salerno, Italy). She is a multiple award-winning tertiary education academic, and she has published extensively in the area of critical criminology and human rights.