Two Aboriginal men have been found exempt from immigration laws by the High Court. Both men were born outside of Australia and were facing deportation for criminal convictions.

Daniel Love and Brendan Thoms currently do not hold Australian citizenship. Both men identify as Indigenous, with each having one Australian parent and holding permanent residency visas.

The pair have faced threat of deportation since failing their migration character tests; a result of jail time in Australia.

The High Court today found due to their Aboriginal heritage, the men were exempt to the alien powers in the constitution and so could remain in the country.

Love is a Kamilaroi man and was born in Papua New Guinea to an Australian father.

Thoms was born in New Zealand to an Australian mother and is a member of the Gunggari nation.

Stephen Keim SC, barrister for Thoms and Love, invoked the case of Mabo last year. In so, recognising the long history of Indigenous dispossession in Australia.

“To remove Aboriginal Australians from the country would be another, if not worse, case of dispossession,” he said.

More to come.

By Rachael Knowles