Tagasylum seekers

The biggest threat to our democracy is not asylum seekers but the Minister responsible for them

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According to this year’s Lowy Poll 48% of Australians see asylum seekers arriving by boat as a critical threat to Australia’s national interest.  It is somewhat ironic then, that the greatest threat currently comes not from refugees but the Minister who oversees the refugee program, the Minister for Immigration, Mr Scott Morrison. Two things lie at the heart of a liberal democracy...

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

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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 time”, that “you will...

Are Crime Rates Higher Among Migrants, Including Refugees?

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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? Australia doesn’t record crime rates by...

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

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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 experienced almost incomprehensible persecution...

Right Question, Wrong Answer

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Many people find themselves torn over asylum seekers. They want to be compassionate, and for them this includes stopping people from dying at sea. Between 2000 and 2013 it is thought that approximately 1,225 asylum seekers on their way to Australia died at sea. During the same period 24,203 people arrived by boat , meaning just on five percent of those embarking for Australia perish during the...

Should Scott Morrison be Charged with Child Abuse?

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Federal Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is guilty of child abuse and should be reported to the Department of Child Protection, says the Australian Medical Association (AMA) of the Northern Territory. The legality of making such a report is being investigated by the AMA, “not as a political stunt but as an important medical intervention”, said AMA NT’s president...

An admission of cruelty

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Finally a politician has admitted it-asylum seeker policies are quite intentionally cruel. Malcolm Turnbull was quoted in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald as saying Our policy is a harsh one, it really is. All of the policies to deal with asylum seekers and people smuggling are harsh, cruel in fact. But the problem is the status quo is cruel. It is analogous to what people say about the...

Comparing Policies on Refugees and Asylum Seekers

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As we move toward a Federal election I will post comparisons of some key policy areas held by Labor, the Coalition and the Greens. In this post I look at refugee policy. The world faces a global refugee crisis. Over 15 million people have been forced to flee their country due to a well-founded fear of persecution. That is, if they return to their home country they will face unfair imprisonment...

Welcome to Australia…Not

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How would you expect Australia to treat someone who has fled from a dictatorial, violent regime? They have seen loved ones murdered and realised that their only hope is to leave their place of birth, their home, the place all their hopes and dreams have centred on, their family, their friends. Leaving their community and all their earthly belongings behind, they make the arduous and dangerous...

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