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Sense on asylum seekers

An excellent article on asylum seekers by Ken Parish.   I agree with the central argument that queue jumping should be prevented.  John Howard was right – Australia should determine who becomes a citizen of Australia.

‘Asylum seekers brought to Christmas Island and found to be genuine refugees should not be automatically granted a visa entitling them to move freely within Australia.  Instead they should be given a Christmas/Cocos Islands visa entitling them only to live on one or other of those Australian offshore islands until a place can be found for them in the ordinary offshore humanitarian migration programme’.

Heading into Australian waters should not give anyone the inevitable right to apply for refugee status. This is queue jumping since other applicants under the refugee-humanitarian program do not enjoy this right. It also denies our national soverignty as a nation and places the entire migration program in peril.    Opinion polls suggest Australians agree with these views.

8 comments to Sense on asylum seekers

  • Uncle Milton

    “Australia should determine who becomes a citizen of Australia.”

    Sure, but no one is suggesting that the asylum seekers be granted citizenship.

    This Island visa is a bit problematic. It sounds like the Soviet Union, where you were only allowed to live in certain parts of the country, and needed an internal passport to travel within the country.

    It’s a half baked idea. You either allow them into Australia – all of it – or not at all.

  • hc

    As I understand once they are on the Island they automatically jump to the front of the queue and must have their refugee status determined without 100 days – if they are refugees they must be given a visa. The proposal is to stop this queue jumping by restricting them to the Island.

  • Spike

    Xenophobia is not confined to Australia, or Australians, but there is a definite Australian flavour to the xenophobia which was carefully nurtured by the Libs in the Howard years. My view is that there is a fundamental fragility at the basis of the Australian identity which makes it an alomst irresistable button for the likes of Hoard to push.

    At bottom, I think the fragility is founded in the knowledge that Australia is conquered territory, taken at the point of a gun from people who did not get to choose ‘who came here and the manner in which they came’. Successive waves of door-slamming immigrant populations have sought to crawl up the social heap by vicitmising the wave that landed after them.

    I had hoped that we’d seen the last of this appeal to the very basest and most negative aspects of Australian identity with the demise of the Howard regime. Sadly, this has not been the case. It will require leadership if Australians are ever to overcome this fragility, leadership which is entirely absent from the two major political blocs which dominate the scene today.

  • MikeM

    Do you feel the same about the substantially larger number who arrive by air on tourist visas, apply for asylum once they get here but attract virtually no public comment – and certainly no public hostility?

  • Uncle Milton

    Speaking of air travel, it doesn’t make a lot of sense that these people would pay such huge sums to travel by leaky boat when they could for less money travel by air in business class.

  • Sir Henry Casingbroke

    I disagree. Asylum seekers should be let into continental Australia, and put up in open hostels, whatever their method of entry. There is no logical reason to do otherwise and every reason, including an economical one, not to put them into a prison on Christmas Island, which is a preposterous imposition on the taxpayer, it is certainly not value for money.

    I do agree that there should be some form of temporary visa or permit system that can be reviewed over time like it was done with the Kosovans. Asylum can mean temporary asylum.

    If people do go awol from an open facility/hostel, it would have the effect of making the absconder/s into model citizen/s because should they come up against the law and found out, it would means either being deported or locked up in a closed facility like Villawood pending deportation. It would also mean a source of cheap labour for farmers like they are in the US in the form of Central and South American economic illegal entrants.

    This journalist makes the case very well in this article .

  • hc

    I agree entirely Sir Henry if it were true that relaxing the regime in this way had no incentive effects in encouraging others to come. But it does – Australia is an attractive alternative to living in Sri Lanka whether you are Tamil or not. These are economic migrants who shouldn’t be allowed to thwart Australian migration policies. We should choose who we want to join Australia not have that decision made for us.

  • Sir Henry Casingbroke

    I agree with you that it is necessary to discourage wholesale lemming-like rush into Australia by economic would-be migrants. However, limited time asylum visas would ensure that there would be no incentive while processing takes place and subsequent to that – it was done with Iraqis and Kosovans and most of them went back.

    On the other hand, visiting shameful barbarities on people is not the way to go about it because that is not the only corollary. We are better than that. Furthermore, as you can see from the figures quoted in the linked article above, the actual cost of off-shore solutions is utterly unsustainable and even absurd in economic terms in the longer-term. Paying money to Sri Lankans or to Indonesians is just as stupid. The Sri Lankan ambassador to the UN even hinted at gifts of gunboats from Australia to patrol their waters for emigrants, FFS.

    MANDATORY DETENTION, i.e. locking people up for years in concentration camps damages them psychologically for life. As we both know, this is being used not so much as a disincentive to would-be asylum seekers but as a self-serving tactic in the domestic political arena.

    it is absurd to think that imprisoning people and making them suffer will teach them a lesson not to come into this country, because they already here. If this is being done to warn off putative asylum seekers or even their facilitators over there then this is a totally morally bankrupt case of collective punishment as an example to others. Think war crimes trials at the end of WW2 Harry and what the judges said.

    Harry, you are living through a time of mob hysteria whipped up by media commentators of the ilk of Alan Jones who trade on the paranoia of the “we’ll be swamped by Asians” variety, retailing it to people least capable to think this through logically.

    I wish our political leaders, Turnbull and Rudd, both intelligent men, would nut out a bi-partisan policy based on commonsense in a sad situation rather than engage in this bizarre auction of sadism.

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