How we can win the debate on refugees

I listened last night to the German Chancellor, Angela Merkle, respond to the waves of irregular migration to Europe by reaffirming her country’s commitment to provide protection to those found to be refugees and Germany’s readiness to take 800,000 asylum seekers. The...

Sheer Cold-Hearted Bastardry. History is tragically repeating itself.

On 13 May 1939, 937 German Jews boarded a cruise liner, the SS St Louis, in a desperate bid to escape Nazi Germany. They had visas to enter Cuba, and from there hoped to gain entry to the US. When they arrived in Cuba 14 days later those hopes were dashed. The Cuban...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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