Second generation Lebanese Liberal MP says immigration minister was 'spot on'

A second-generation Lebanese Liberal Party MP agreed with Peter Dutton's comments that allowing his parents' Muslim countrymen into Australia in the 1970s was a "mistake".

Member for Deakin in Victoria, Michael Sukkar, stood by the immigration minister who said Monday that former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser "did make mistakes by bringing some people in" to Australia.

Mr Sukkar, a Maronite Catholic and member of the coalition's conservative faction, said the remarks were "spot on", The Australian Financial Review reports.

MP Micahael Sukkar and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Source: AAP
Peter Dutton made the controversial comments during question time on Monday. Source: AAP

Mr Dutton's comments were made during question time on Monday, with the minister pointing out that two thirds of those arrested under terror offences were Lebanese-Muslim Australians.

"I am not going to allow people who are hard-working, who have done the right thing by this country, who have contributed, who have worked hard and who have educated their children to be defined by those people who are doing the wrong thing," Mr Dutton said about the demographic in parliament.

On Tuesday there was a small whimper of objection to minister's comments within the party room, with Fairfax reporting that a sole North Sydney MP described the comments as "unhelpful".

Mr Sukkra said Mr Dutton's comments were 'spot on'. Source: AAP

Without naming Mr Dutton, Trent Zimmerman said the government had been working hard to reach out to Australia's immigrant communities and it needed to be careful not to "undo" all the good work.

The MP found little love among his colleagues, with Fairfax quoting one anonymous source who said Mr Zimmerman "completely misread the mood of the party room".

Another MP said Mr Sukkar "smashed Zimmerman" for trying to take a stand against the minister.

The Liberal MP would have found more support in other parties, with Labor and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young calling Mr Dutton a "racist bigot".

Opposition leader Bill Shorten lambasted Mr Dutton for demonising the children of migrants.

"In the Labor party, we don't call people second- and third-generation migrants. We call them Australians," he said.

On Tuesday Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described Mr Dutton as a "thoughtful, committed and compassionate immigration minister".