A senior Australian government minister said on Wednesday that rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, could be denied a visa because of 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 he did not know if Ye had applied for a visa, but that Australia has previously refused them to people with anti-Semitic views.
“I expect if he applies he would have to go through the same process and answer the same questions” as others who have sent such views, Clare told Nine Network television.
Last month, Ye praised Hitler in an interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Twitter later suspended Ye after he tweeted a picture of a swastika merged with the Star of David.
Australia’s migration law sets security and character requirements for non-citizens to enter the country. Any decision on whether Ye gets an Australian visa will be made by Immigration Minister Andrew Giles, whose office said he could not comment on individual cases due to privacy concerns.
Peter Wertheim, co-chief executive officer of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, met officials on Tuesday to argue for an entry ban.
“We had a sympathetic hearing,” Wertheim said on Sky News. “We have argued that this particular individual 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 if he was in government he would be inclined to exclude Ye on character grounds.
“My inclination would be not to allow him in,” Dutton told Melbourne’s Radio 3AW on Tuesday.
“His anti-Semitic comments are disgraceful, his behavior and his behavior are appalling and he is not a person of good character,” Dutton added.
Ye and Censori intend to visit her family, who live in the northeastern Melbourne suburb of Ivanhoe, next week, Seven Network News reported.
Ye and Censori recently married less than two months after he finalized his divorce from Kim Kardashian, entertainment news website TMZ reported two weeks ago.
The AP asked Ye’s representative if he was married to Censori and planned to visit Melbourne, but did not get an immediate response.
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