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With the Labor government facing a backlash after it was revealed that the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) gave visas back to those with a criminal history, Immigration Minister Andrew Giles revealed that the state was using drones to monitor those released from detention.

"Well they are being monitored ... There is a quarter of a billion dollars that we've invested in supporting our law enforcement agencies. That's enabled things like using drones to keep track of these people. We know where they are," The Guardian quoted the minister.

Announcing the government decision to cancel visas of eight non-citizens due to character concerns, Giles said the AAT failed to show "common sense" in its rulings recently, AAP reported.

"The new direction will ensure that all members of the (tribunal) will adopt a commonsense approach to visa decisions, consistent with the intent of ministerial direction 99," he said.

Giles was facing pressure over ministerial direction 99, under which, the immigration officials and AAT had to take into account the individual's connection with Australia and the duration of their stay when reviewing visa cancellations.

The minister also gave details regarding compliance measures for 153 persons, who were released after the High Court ruling last November. The court overturned a 20-year-old precedent that allowed indefinite detention of non-citizens without a valid visa, even if they did not face immediate deportation.

Giles' announcement was made after he came under attack when it was revealed that two persons among those released and who were charged with murders were not required to wear the mandatory electronic ankle bracelets. However, Giles pointed out that the law mandates electronic monitoring, based on each person's circumstances.

"Because the law doesn't allow it. The law requires a consideration for each person's circumstances ... That's why we put in place a Community Protection Board to provide advice to the delegates so that experts are forming a view on this. There is so much being done for this cohort: spot checks, random house checks, as well as the use of drones that I just touched on," Giles answered when asked why the cohort were not wearing the ankle bracelets.

Australian Border Force officials on Wednesday told the Senate that of the 153 people released, 76 were under electronic monitoring and 68 subject to curfews, which were generally from 10pm to 6am.