There are MANY sides to this.

Politicians pledging that they are targeting the “people smugglers”, and crying crocodile tears over drownings due to unsafe boats? Excuse me while I throw up. The smugglers wouldn’t use such old unsafe boats if it weren’t a certainty that they’d be (sunk/blown up/confiscated/burnt) by Australian officials on arrival. It is quite obvious that your policies do not put the safety of vulnerable people first. You quite obviously prefer, in political reality, that thousands of people drown at sea, than allow your arbitrary numeric “immigration quotas” to be exceeded. As leaders of the Australian people, you should be ashamed of yourselves, and ashamed that Australia continues to support such a morally bankrupt stance.

Simplistic equating of “success” with “stop the boats”? Congratulations, Tony Abbott. You and your coalition mates are the main drivers in this political race to the bottom, and are thus directly accountable. By your measure, every one of your “success” stories is a violation of  human rights under the refugee conventions which Australia has ratified. 90% of people on boats are found to be genuine refugees, and under the international conventions they have a right to seek safe haven. Coming by boat is not a crime. You do not have the right to stop genuine refugees from entering Australia, by whatever means is available to them. It can be argued that doing so is a crime against humanity.

BUT… It is also widely accepted that countries have the right and responsibility to control the movement of people through their borders. There is an obvious conflict there between the demands of the Refugee Conventions and the dictates of national sovereignty.

AND, what if the influx of refugees to your borders is directly related to your overseas activities as part of the “Coalition of the Willing”? And in at least one of those overseas actions, your participation was NOT sanctioned by the United Nations. Shouldn’t you accept some moral responsibility to deal with the fallout from your own actions?

Clearly, there is no simple solution.

BUT… There ARE many thousands of people in refugee camps who have applied to come to Australia through the UNHCR resettlement programs. These people should not have their places taken by people who “jump the queue”. This is the REALLY sad thing about Australia’s immigration policies – supported by both major parties, and apparently not on anyone’s radar. THE ORDERLY SETTLEMENT PROGRAM SHOULD NOT BE AFFECTED BY AD HOC ARRIVALS.

I personally know of someone who applied more than three years ago to rejoin his wife and children in Australia under the Humanitarian Program. When he applied, the expected “processing time” was SIX MONTHS. He was approved, and passed his medicals… and he has been waiting ever since, for MORE THAN THREE YEARS, while the swelling numbers of boat arrivals have been allowed to take precedence over his case. It is now eight years since his family last saw him. His medicals have been allowed to expire, and immigration officials are stone-walling about when his kids might get to see their father.

Are the majority of Australians really such rich, greedy, arrogant, selfish, heartless psychopaths as the present policies might indicate?



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