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Queue jumpers

The Gillard Government does finally seem determined to address the “people smuggling” issue.  The deal is to send the next 800 illegal migrants (almost all “queue-jumpers” seeking a better lifestyle) to Malaysia in exchange for accepting – over the next 4 years – 4000 refugees from Burma currently held in Malaysia.  These Burmese refugees will be accepted even if 800 queue-jumpers are not sent to Malaysia. The cost of implementing this policy will be $292 million or $365,000 per illegal immigrant.  The Burmese immigrants accepted will raise Australia’s refugee intake to 14,750 which is the highest since 1996.

I agree with Tony Abbott on this one. This deal is a good one for Malaysia and a lousy, expensive one for Australia.  Australia is a nation populated by the people of Australia.  It is not international common property or a policy instrument of the United Nations – Australians should determine who comprise the Australian Nation and if that involves repudiating UN agreements so be it.  Almost all queue jumpers should be given a one-way ticket home.   As it stands almost all now gain refugee status at the expense of those who seek legal resettlement. This motivates the illegal flows and the people smugglers. (405)

3 comments to Queue jumpers

  • conrad

    Actually, I don’t think it’s too bad. If it makes the overall numbers too high, then it would be simple to reduce overall numbers whilst still taking those from Malaysia (this number Australia takes is essentially independent of this issue). I also don’t think it really has anything to do with the UN — the idea is to stop people coming by boat, who I imagine are going to come with or without a UN and this sort of deterent seems similar to sticking people elsewhere (indeed better, because then they become Malaysia’s problem, so they are not held essentially indefinitely by the Australian government, and perhaps Malaysia will be able to think of something to do with them better than Australia). In case that works, then despite the huge cost, it is cheaper than keeping people indefinitely in weird places off the coast of Australia (they’re both bad options in my books, so I’ll just go with the cheaper one).

    On a final note, I suspect that the Australian population is going to see a bunch of Burmese refugees much more favourably than other refugee groups, and given the Burmese government is thought of as one of the most oppressive in the world (possibly 2nd to North Korea), it seems rather likely they are real refugees.

  • Jim

    So Harry, who are going to be the first 800? I suspect if this is properly advertised in Indonesia and Malaysia, it could work well.

  • observa

    “I agree with Tony Abbott on this one. This deal is a good one for Malaysia and a lousy, expensive one for Australia.”

    Well Julia reckons this 5 for 1 plus all expenses is a ripping good deal for all Australians and given Labor’s record in Govt, who could possibly argue with her? She’s got you there Tony.

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