CANBERRA, Australia (TUSEN) — A senior Australian government minister said on 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 responded to media reports that the American celebrity plans 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 Australia has previously denied it to those with anti-Semitic views.
“I expect that if he signs up, he’ll have to go through the same process and answer the same questions,” as others who have aired 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.
Australian Migration Act sets security and character requirements for non-citizens to enter the country. Any decision on whether Ye will be granted an Australian visa would 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 with government officials on Tuesday to advocate 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 have set out our reasons in detail.”
Opposition leader Peter Dutton said that if he were in government he would be inclined to bar Ye on the basis of his character.
“My inclination would be not to let him in,” Dutton told Melbourne’s Radio 3AW on Tuesday.
“His anti-Semitic remarks are outrageous, his conduct and conduct is appalling, and he is not a person of good character,” added Dutton.
Ye and Censori plan to visit her family next week who live in Ivanhoe, a suburb in northeastern Melbourne, Seven Network News reported.
Ye and Censori recently got married less than two months after he finalized his divorce from Kim Kardashian, entertainment news website TMZ reported two weeks ago.
The TUSEN asked Ye’s representative if he had married Censori and planned to visit Melbourne, but received no immediate response.