CANBERRA, Australia (AP) – A senior Australian government minister said Wednesday that rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, could be denied a visa over anti-Semitic comments if he tries to visit Australia.
Education Minister Jason Clare was responding to media reports that the American celebrity intends to visit the family of new Australian partner Bianca Censori in Melbourne next week.
Clare said she did not know if Ye had applied for a visa, but that Australia had previously refused them to people with anti-Semitic views.
“I would expect that if he does apply, he would have to go through the same process and answer the same questions” as others who have expressed such views, Clare told the Nine Network.
Last month, Ye praised Hitler in an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Twitter suspended Ye after he tweeted an image of a swastika fused with the Star of David.
Australia’s Migration Act sets out security and character requirements for non-citizens to enter the country. Any decision on whether Ye gets an Australian visa would be made by Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, whose office said he could not comment on individual cases for privacy reasons.
Peter Wertheim, co-chief executive of the Executive Council of Australian Jews, met with government officials on Tuesday to argue for an entry ban.
“We had a sympathetic audience,” Wertheim told Sky News. “We have argued that this particular person does not meet the character test and that it would be in the national interest not to grant him a visa and we set out our reasons in some detail.”
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said that if he were in government, he would be inclined to ban Ye on character grounds.
“My inclination would be not to let him in,” Dutton told Melbourne’s Radio 3AW on Tuesday.
“His anti-Semitic comments are disgraceful, his conduct and behavior are appalling, and he is not a person of good character,” Dutton added.
Ye and Censori plan to visit their family who live in the north-east Melbourne suburb of Ivanhoe next week, Seven Network News reported.
Ye and Censori recently tied the knot less than two months after his divorce from Kim Kardashian was finalized, entertainment news website TMZ reported two weeks ago.
The AP asked Ye’s representative if she had married Censori and planned to visit Melbourne, but did not get an immediate response.
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