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.