Australian Border Force commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg has conceded that the initial press release announcing Operation Fortitude was a “clumsily translated” statement accidentally sent from the 1930s.
“It did come across as a little abrupt. It’s always hard to translate these things perfectly from the original German,” Mr Quaedvlieg said.
Operation Fortitude – now cancelled – would have seen Border Force officers stopping people to question them about their visa status, with officers patrolling Flinders Street Station and other prominent border crossing points.
But there was an immediate backlash, with many claiming it was not realistic for people to carry around visa papers at all times. A spokesperson for Border Force agreed. “An armband or a small badge sewn onto a person’s clothing identifying their visa status would be much more practical for everyone involved”.