Tag Archives: asylum seekers

Don’t be fooled. Children will remain in detention.

In the wake of the agreement between the crossbench Senators and the government, many are under the impression that no children will be held in immigration detention into the future. This is a misunderstanding of what was agreed.

Children are currently held in immigration detention centres on the Australian mainland, Christmas Island, and Nauru. Prior to the current agreement the government had signalled its intention to release children under the age of 10 from detention centres on the Australian mainland. The agreement made with the Senate will see all children under the age of 18 released from Christmas Island, and following their release, the release of all children under the age of 18 from mainland detention centres (I rang the Minister’s office today to confirm the ages).

Children will however remain in detention on Nauru. It is the policy of the government and remains the policy of the government that all asylum seekers, including children, who arrived in Australia by boat after July 19, 2013 will be sent to immigration detention facilities on Nauru or Manus Island and will never be resettled in Australia.  The agreement with the Senate crossbench applies only to those children who arrived in Australia prior to July 19, 2013.

At the end of September this year there were 186 children held in immigration detention on Nauru (http://www.immi.gov.au/About/Documents/immigration-detention-statistics-for-30-september-2014.pdf). They will remain in detention and any asylum seekers arriving by boat from this point forward will join them.

What the changes to the migration act mean

This week the Senate passed the “Migration And Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving The Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014″. The bill results in sweeping changes to Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers. Reintroduction of Temporary Protection Visas When asylum seekers arrive in Australia they must apply for a protection visa. A protection visa gives them the…Continue Reading

Australia. How we bludge off the rest of the world

I opened the Australian newspaper today to read a vigorous defence of the government’s  policy of turning back  boats filled with asylum seekers.  Australia has not only succeeded in stemming the flow of people coming by boat to Australia, we have apparently also reduced the flow of refugees into Indonesia, and saved people from drowning…Continue Reading

Sometimes we don’t get to decide who comes to this country

This week Scott Morrison invoked John Howard’s famous dictum “We will decide who comes to this country and the manner in which they come.” We should decide whether to turn back boats filled with asylum seekers and we should decide who gets a visa granting them the right to enter and live in Australia. The…Continue Reading

The death of the wisdom of our youth

When I was growing up there were two pieces of wisdom frequently imparted to me: “the ends don’t justify the means” and “think about how you would feel if that were done to you”. These two pieces of ethical guidance were designed to help me act with clarity and correctness in difficult situations. The first piece…Continue Reading

Perhaps the Coldest Thing I’ve Ever Heard from a Politician

I know politicians can be cold and calculated, but footage of Immigration Minister Scott Morrison addressing asylum seekers detained on Manus Island and Nauru is chilling. With sombre, determined tones he advises asylum seekers that they are where they are because “you entered Australia illegally”, that “you will be here for a very, very long…Continue Reading

Are Crime Rates Higher Among Migrants, Including Refugees?

Whenever I find myself in a conversation about refugees it’s not long until somebody brings up the question of refugees and crime. They worry that migrants, including refugees, are more prone to crime than established Australian communities, and can usually cite some anecdotal evidence to support their fear. So what do the crime statistics say?…Continue Reading

No, it is not a joke. We really are trying to send refugees to Cambodia

Immigration minister Scott Morrison has just visited Cambodia and apparently one of the points on his agenda is the possibility of Australia sending asylum seekers there. Seriously? Cambodia? I’m just reading The People Smuggler, which tells the story of refugee Ali Al Jenabi. Ali grew up in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, where he and his family…Continue Reading