Peter Dutton challenged the advice of a senior officer of the Australian Border Force when he personally intervened to prevent a French au pair from being deported after being pressured by AFL chief Gil McLachlan.
Dutton says he intervened to save the babysitter because he thought it was a bit "difficult" for a young woman without a criminal record to be expelled from the country.
However, in doing so, he dismissed the advice of a senior ABF official, who cautioned that the details provided by the young woman did not support the minister's intervention.
Mr. Dutton was also told that there would be "financial responsibility" for allowing the woman to stay, since her return plane tickets were already reserved.
Alexandra Deuwel arrived at the Adelaide airport on October 31, 2015.
The 27-year-old was arrested by ABF agents after admitting that she intended to work, in violation of her tourist visa, for farmer Callum MacLachlan, a Adelaide resident, who is Gil McLachlan's second cousin.
The officers canceled their visa on the spot and Ms. Deuwel was detained by immigration, pending deportation.
However, the head of the AFL pressured the minister's office on behalf of his relatives, and urged Mr. Dutton to leave her.
Mr. Dutton's chief of staff received an email, which was leaked to various media outlets, written by Callum MacLachlan and his wife Skye.
"There has been a clear misunderstanding that he intended to work for us when he is here to spend time with our family, as we consider it to be a family," the couple wrote.
"What can we do to resolve this injustice and restore your tourist visa before she leaves tonight?"
The minister used his discretionary powers to grant him a three-month tourist visa, on condition that he did not work.
Mr. Dutton did it despite being told that the young woman had been previously advised in May 2015 after violating the conditions of her visa.
Ms. Deuwel had been in Australia for the last time on May 3 as the holder of a tourist visa, having worked for the MacLachlan family as an au pair in 2013 and 2014.
Mr. Dutton, who is now Minister of Internal Affairs, said he weighed the case based on his merits and not on the person who had referred him.
He argued that the references to the young woman being an au pair were "flowery language" and "complete nonsense".
"I looked at him and I thought it was a bit harsh, there was no criminal record, she agreed that he would not work while he was here," Dutton told the 2GB radio on Thursday.
"As I understand it, she never delayed the visa, did not commit any crime and I thought it was an application of common sense."
Dutton said he dealt with hundreds of visa problems every year.
He claimed that "enemies in the media" were dredging the case to "square" for his role in knocking Malcolm Turnbull down in a leadership coup last week.
The minister also criticized the "unreliable" Senate investigation created to examine his interventions in the cases of two other au pairs in 2015, which should hear evidence next week.
"I am a person of integrity, I have never been compromised, I will never do it," he said.