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  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    I am not sure but I think you are wrong there. Isn't it is perfectly legal to enter Australia without a valid visa provided you are a genuine asylum seeker.

    Given that many refugees are fleeing from warring states, I doubt they have the time or ability to fill out a refugee application and wait for DIAC to process that application.
    But they don't come directly from the warring states, they go through Indonesia or Malaysia.
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  2. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    But they don't come directly from the warring states, they go through Indonesia or Malaysia.
    Indonesia has not signed the refugee convention and is therefore under no obligation to accept refugees, unlike Australia. Is indonesia willing to given them refugee status? If not then they will be forced to move on. Also, the law does not require an asylum seeker to seek asylum at their first port of call. Certainly Indonesia would seem the safest place for someone fleeing radical Islamist persecution.

    Not sure about Malaysia. Regardless I still think you are wrong to call them illegal immigrants if they are genuine asylum seekers, as AFAIK the law gives them the right to enter and seek asylum in Australia without a valid visa.

  3. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Indonesia has not signed the refugee convention and is therefore under no obligation to accept refugees, unlike Australia. Is indonesia willing to given them refugee status? If not then they will be forced to move on. Also, the law does not require an asylum seeker to seek asylum at their first port of call. Certainly Indonesia would seem the safest place for someone fleeing radical Islamist persecution.

    Not sure about Malaysia. Regardless I still think you are wrong to call them illegal immigrants if they are genuine asylum seekers, as AFAIK the law gives them the right to enter and seek asylum in Australia without a valid visa.
    The point is that they are not in the imminent danger in Indonesia or Malaysia.
    And given the amount they pay to people smugglers (which is substantial even by Australian standard and would be a fortune in the most countries they come from) I doubt many of them are genuine refugees.
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  4. #49
    CC International Master TheJoker's Avatar
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    Some Interesting Statistics on Boat People Arrivals:

    Average number of Arrivals per year:

    Fraser Government: 294 (peak 868)

    Hawke Government: 49 (peak 214)

    Keating Government: 429 (peak 660)

    Howard Government: 1,286 (peak 5,516)

    Rudd Government: 161 (2008), 2750 (2009), 2982 (first half 2010)


    Biggest year-on-year increase 3,521 (1999 Howard)

    Biggest year-on-year decrease 5,515 (2002 Howard)

    Source: www.aph.gov.au

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    The point is that they are not in the imminent danger in Indonesia or Malaysia. .
    They might not be in imminent danger in Indonesia, but what is Indonesia's policy with regard to asylum seekers does it simply deport them to their country of origin (where presumably they would be in imminent danger)?

    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    And given the amount they pay to people smugglers (which is substantial even by Australian standard and would be a fortune in the most countries they come from) I doubt many of them are genuine refugees.
    Being rich does not preclude someone from being a persecuted in their own country. Many of Jewish persecuted under the Nazi regime weren't exactly poor, and probably paid a handsome amount to escape Germany, would you deny that these people genuine asylum seeker status.

    Personally I think anyone who is facing persecution in their home country should be able to seek asylum in Australia, regardless of how they got here or their financial status.

    What I do agree with is that we need tough enough policies to non-genuine asylum seekers. And also tough policies that deter people smuggling and excessive risk taking in getting to Australia on unseaworthy craft.

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    Personally I think anyone who is facing persecution in their home country should be able to seek asylum in Australia, regardless of how they got here or their financial status.
    Who is currently facing persecution in Iraq or Afghanistan?
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  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    Who is currently facing persecution in Iraq or Afghanistan?
    Buggered if I know. I am not familiar enough with what's happening on the ground in those countries to make a comment. That should left up to the experts to decide. I certainly wouldn't want rule out the possibility of an individual being persecuted in those or any other country.

  8. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    I think its more a case of the fact that some the criticisms are still valid, it's a costly solution no doubt, I suspect it is still more expensive to maintain a fewer detainees offshore, than more detainees onshore. It's debateable that the increase in effectiveness in deterring boat arrivals offsets the additional cost. It's still inhumane to detain children.
    Given virtual absence of boats in the last Howards years, it must'be been effective.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheJoker
    The difference is that the alternate solution turned out to be "worse". The other problem is that onshore mandatory dentention can quickly turn into a political nightmare with media and protestors etc. remember Woomera. So basically it the best option we've got warts and all (if we are intent on protecting the privledges that we have being Australian).
    No argument here.
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  9. #54
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    “Boat people are illegal immigrants.”

    Asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat are neither engaging in illegal activity, nor are they immigrants. The UN Refugee Convention (to which Australia is a signatory) recognises that refugees have a lawful right to enter a country for the purposes of seeking asylum, regardless of how they arrive or whether they hold valid travel or identity documents. The Convention stipulates that what would usually be considered as illegal actions (e.g. entering a country without a visa) should not be treated as illegal if a
    person is seeking asylum. This means that it is incorrect to refer to asylum seekers who arrive without authorisation as “illegal”, as they in fact have a lawful right to enter Australia to seek asylum.

    In line with our obligations under the Convention, Australian law also permits unauthorised entry into Australia for the purposes of seeking asylum. Asylum seekers do not break any Australian laws simply by arriving on boats or without authorisation. Australian and international law make these allowances because it is not always safe or practicable for asylum seekers to obtain travel documents or travel through authorised channels. Refugees are, by definition, persons fleeing persecution and in most cases are being persecuted by their own government. It is often too dangerous for refugees to apply for a passport or exit visa or approach an Australian Embassy for a visa, as such actions could put their lives, and the lives of their families, at risk. Refugees may also be forced to flee with little notice due to rapidly deteriorating situations and do not have time to apply for travel documents or arrange travel through authorised channels. Permitting asylum seekers to entry a country without travel documents is similar to allowing ambulance drivers to exceed the speed limit in an emergency – the action would be ordinarily be considered illegal, but the circumstances warrant an exception.

    It is also incorrect to refer to asylum seekers as migrants. A migrant is someone who chooses to leave their country to seek a better life. They decide where they migrate to and they can return whenever they like. Refugees are forced to leave their country and cannot return unless the situation that forced them to leave improves. Some are forced to flee with no warning; significant numbers of them have suffered torture and trauma. The concerns of refugees are human rights and safety, not economic advantage.

    Myths and Facts about Refugees and Asylum Seekers
    Refugee Council of Australia
    http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/doc...dia%202010.pdf

  10. #55
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    Should "boat people" go into the same queue as would-be refugee applying from overseas?
    Or should they be given priority in their application consideration?
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  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    However, Labor policy on illegal immigration was proved to be an utter failure. Many deaths, thousands of people in detention centres, extra billion dollars wasted, etc.
    Sorry, what? Both the Tampa and the SIEV X occurred under the Howard government's watch..

  12. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg
    Should "boat people" go into the same queue as would-be refugee applying from overseas?
    Or should they be given priority in their application consideration?
    They should be assessed in line with applicable international law to which Australia is a signatory.

    Do you disagree?
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  13. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by pax
    Sorry, what? Blaoth the Tampa and the SIEV X occurred under the Howard government's watch..
    Howard policy prevented repeat of the SIEVX tragedy, while Labor policy lead to more then 170 dead.
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  14. #59
    CC Grandmaster Ian Murray's Avatar
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    Asylum seekers who arrive on boats take places away from genuine refugees in overseas camps.”

    Refugees who seek protection onshore are no less “genuine” than refugees who are resettled from offshore. Refugees who are resettled in Australia, regardless of whether they apply onshore or offshore, must meet the criteria for refugee status outlined in the UN Refugee Convention. These criteria do not make any distinction between those refugees who arrive with authorisation and those who don’t.

    The myth that onshore applicants take places away from offshore applicants does have some basis in truth. However, this is not because onshore asylum seekers are trying to rort the system or “jump the queue” – they have a right to seek asylum onshore and Australia has a legal and moral obligation to protect them. Rather, it is the direct result of Australian Government policy. The onshore and offshore components of Australia’s refugee program are numerically linked, which means that every time an onshore applicant is granted a protection visa, a place is deducted from the offshore program.

    The linking policy blurs the distinction between Australia’s obligations as a signatory to the Refugee Convention (addressed through the onshore component) and our voluntary contribution to the sharing of international responsibility for refugees for whom no other durable solution is available (addressed through the offshore component). The perception that there is a “queue” which onshore applicants are trying to evade is created by a policy choice which could easily be changed. No other country in the world links its onshore and offshore programs in this way.

    Myths and Facts about Refugees and Asylum Seekers
    Refugee Council of Australia
    http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/doc...dia%202010.pdf

  15. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Murray
    The myth that onshore applicants take places away from offshore applicants does have some basis in truth.
    Then it's not a myth, is it?
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