Efforts to turn away boat-arriving asylum seekers could be undermined by the government's recent mishandling of immigration policy, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton says.
But Mr Dutton has been accused of seeking to conflate two issues for political gain.
In early November, the High Court unanimously ruled indefinite immigration detention to be unlawful, overturning a two-decades old precedent that the justices found had given politicians powers which should have been reserved for the judiciary.
This prompted the release of about 140 detainees as the government rushed through legislation in an effort to contain and trace them.
Though some newly freed immigrants were convicted of serious offences such as child abuse and murder, others had faced charges for traffic offences, and all had served their entire sentences before being placed in unlawful immigration detention.
Mr Dutton said the government's inept response to the court decision could send a signal of a broader malaise in the border control system.
"This whole debacle is likely to unwind Operation Sovereign Borders because they've admitted to the people smugglers that they don't have control of the system," he said.
Greens leader Adam Bandt said Mr Dutton was running a "massive misinformation and fear campaign".
"The High Court has made some serious decisions - it's up to us as a parliament to consider how to respond to those in a sober manner," Mr Bandt told AAP.
"My message to Labor is don't give in to Peter Dutton ... he has made a career out of punching down, of demonising people who are doing it tough, and he'll keep coming back for more."
Cabinet minister Jason Clare said Australia's border policy remained consistent.
"If you try and get on a rickety boat and come to Australia, you'll get turned back, or you'll get sent to a country like Nauru, or you'll get sent back to your country of origin," he told Seven's Sunrise on Friday.
"It's important to point out here: that was the policy under the former government, it's the policy under us."
Following the court decision, the government passed laws that would subject the newly released immigrants to a curfew from 10pm to 6am every day, require them to wear ankle tracking bracelets, and increase capacity to bring prosecutions if they breach visa conditions.
Politicians have also allocated $255 million to enforce these changes.
Legal experts and refugee advocates maintain the laws are an over-reach that penalise non-citizens, given that Australian citizens who've served jail sentences for the same crimes are generally released into the community without any restrictions.
According to Australian Border Force deputy commissioner Tim Fitzgerald, of the 145 immigrants released from indefinite detention, 142 required ankle monitors, and 140 have now been fitted.
The ABF's October update on Operation Sovereign Borders revealed there were no new unauthorised maritime arrivals that month while 14 who had previously reached Australia were resettled in a third country.
Australian Associated Press