A few years ago I was told a story by some Aboriginal friends about how they’d been in Darwin and some police officers came up to them. The police said that my friends were African American sailors off one of the US Navy ships there at the time, and asked to see their shore papers. When no papers were produced, they were threatened with arrest and deportation. In the end the police got bored and left them alone.
I heard another story of this kind recently. An aboriginal woman was called up and asked to report to a Centrelink* office. When she got there, she found out it was because someone had looked at her name and thought she was Chinese. Since she didn’t have any visa or permanent residency paperwork on file, she was assumed to be an illegal immigrant and deportation/detention papers had already been filed. She was lucky – the officer processing her payments said “Oh, you’re a fullblood Aborigine, there’s a mistake here,” and tore up the papers.
*For US readers, Centrelink is similar to the Social Security office.