Tag Archives: immigration

Parliamentary time used for something important

Although much of the time the two largest parties in Australia are depressingly indistinguishable, occasionally, on certain issues, a change in government really does make a difference.

A BILL to abolish detention debts for refugees are set to pass the Senate and the Coalition will splinter over its hardline position in the lower house.

Almost $9 million in debt will be lifted from as many as 474 refugees, who are charged for the cost of their own detention.

I have blogged before on the indefensible hounding of Mr Wililo. The policy to be overturned was a petty, spiteful act of vindictiveness by the former government, in which innocent people were charged ridiculous sums for their involuntary detention – despite the fact that it didn’t even make economic sense: it actually cost the government more than it recovered.

The legislation is set to pass the Senate today. The Greens have long called for such a bill. The ALP is finally supporting one. Even Fielding and Xenophon are on board. And more than a few Coalition members are going to vote for it.

It’s difficult to imagine a more thorough repudiation by the national parliament of Howard-era bastardry, and – in this week of distractions like TURIPS, it’s good to see our representatives actually doing something worthwhile with their time.

UPDATE: There’s a special place in hell waiting for Sharman Stone:

The Opposition’s immigration spokeswoman, Sharman Stone, says instead of abolishing debt collection the Government should find better ways of collecting the money.

“There is no doubt that announcing to the region that this Rudd Labor regime is abolishing the 17-year-old policy of recovering detention debt, there’s no doubt that would bring great joy to the people smugglers who are once again very active in our waters,” she said.

“Abolishing the detention debt principle is going to remove one more deterrent in the way of people smugglers, arguing now that Australia has a wide open back door.”

He raises a good point – isn’t it good to have Andrew Bolt out of the country when injustices are being righted? Andy would be busy convincing his sheep that the only way to keep our borders safe (he’d probably put it in terms of his newfound professed concern about the safety of people on boats) is to hound legitimate refugees with ridiculous bills until the day they die.

UPDATE: The bill on which the original policy was based was passed by the Keating government in 1992 – so there’s another lot who should be looking forward to a deserved bit of roasting when their time is up.

That’s some catch

On the one hand, we want to be seen as an open, sharing country. On the other – we don’t really want people coming here and abusing our hospitality by, you know, asking us to be hospitable.

Here’s my solution: we appease the bleeding hearts by opening our borders to ANY GENUINE REFUGEE. No quotas, no limits. As long as someone sits down before they come here and proves they’re a genuine refugee, they’re in.

Of course, they have to *be* a genuine refugee.

And if you’ve the time to break from fleeing oppression to sit in a cushy office on a comfortable chair out of the weather filling in forms – then how genuine can your quest for refuge be? If you were REALLY desperate, and had nowhere else to go, then you wouldn’t stop running until you got here. If you’ve found a country with functioning electricity and offices where you’re not in imminent danger of torture or violence, why can’t you stay there?

All we’re asking is that you take the time to fill in a form before you get here. Of course, if you’ve the time and ability to fill in the form, you can’t possibly, by definition, be a genuine refugee.

You may let out a respectful whistle. I should run a bureaucracy.

What a tragedy (for my taxes)

Turning on the news tonight I was horrified to hear about all the killings in Sri Lanka. As I saw footage of villages burning, and corpses in the street, and people fleeing – without passports and documents – my heart sank.

“In the morning I saw bodies here and I would say today they killed 400 civilians in our area and more than 3,000 people were severely injured – 1,400 people were injured today,” he said.

Isn’t that awful?

Because I know what’s coming next:

A boat carrying 32 asylum seekers [from Sri Lanka] has been intercepted by the Navy off the Western Australia coast, the Federal Government has confirmed.

Yup – without stopping to get proper documents from the government that was killing them, these people seeking asylum and refuge from the killing (I shall call them “illegals”) will not be able to get a plane ticket and fly here. So they’re probably going to end up paying everything they can to some despicable people smuggler to come on one of those boats (like the one above) instead. What a downer! Hearing about all those deaths, hearing about all that suffering, knowing that – unless we’re lucky and they sink on the way – it’ll cause my taxpayer dollars to be spent looking after illegals at the end of it. Every boatload of Sri Lankans that comes here could conceivably cost me, personally, as a taxpayer, a few cents. (Provided that they never do anything but incur medical expenses and welfare over a very long time – which I’m going to completely unreasonably assume they will.)

What a tragedy this is (to my wallet).

NOTE: Just to be clear, yes, this post is cynically and carelessly making light of horrible events in which people have died. If you thought it was attempting to highlight the monstrous approach to humanitarian issues that looks at refugees as a “drain to society” first and as desperate human beings in need of aid second, that looks at a boatload of people fleeing a warzone and asks “why didn’t they wait in the queue (that I’m going to wrongly assume existed)?” and “why didn’t they go back (into the warzone) for passports so they could fly here like most other immigrants?”, and was making that point by contrasting the petty “what about my taxes?” and “we’ve got limited resources” responses with the seriousness of what these people are fleeing… well, you were wrong. Obviously I was just using people’s deaths as grist to my polemical mill because I’m a heartless bastard, too.

I know how to secure our borders

Having read more of the fine reasoning of ethical luminaries (and devoted humanitarians) Andrew Bolt, Piers Ackerman and Tim Blair, I have come around to their way of thinking: by being slightly less of a bastard to would-be asylum seekers, Kevin Rudd has probably caused the global increase in refugee numbers, and is consequently to blame for anything that happens to any of them on their way out here. I hope their tortured screams keep him away at night, the monster.

Clearly, any policy which coincides with an increase in boats travelling to Australia is by definition bad, and any policy which coincides with a reduction is by definition good.

The problem is, even under John Howard refugee boats still came – sure, they knew we were going to imprison them indefinitely (unless they agreed to go away again) while we took our sweet time “processing” them; but for some of them that wasn’t sufficient disincentive to try escaping oppression.

The solution: we need to be nastier. We need to be so horrible that no-one in their right mind would want to come here. We need to shed this image of us being in any way “humane” or “compassionate” people, and replace it with a world-wide understanding that we’re worse than any regime from which they might be fleeing.

Tell you what – if we took every refugee we caught and fed them to crocodiles, they’d soon stop coming. If we ran over them with steamrollers and set them on fire, they’d soon stop coming. If we slowly dismembered them whilst making them listen to “Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport” played on bagpipes, they’d soon stop coming. If we treated them like the terror suspects they really are and subjected them to insects placed in a confinement box, they’d soon stop coming.

A “balance”? Who wants balance and reasonableness in immigration policy?

Any approach other than absolute and unimaginable viciousness is a SOP TO PEOPLE SMUGGLERS and irresponsible. Australians want secure borders. And only my deranged plan of indefensible horror will truly achieve it.

Who’s with me? Andrew? Tim? Piers? Please let your readers know that at least someone out there has the answers for which they’re so desperately looking.

UPDATE (Via BLL):
Some suggestions from Hun readers:

untitled2

Or, better yet, have the Navy blow them up first!

And:

untitled1

Yeah! Let’s shoot the defenceless people on boats begging us for asylum!

That’ll certainly end that inconvenient reputation of Australians not being monsters.

My political opponents to blame for tragic boat deaths

What seems to be being missed in all the commentary regarding the refugees tragically killed when their boat exploded off north-west Australia on Thursday, is how it proves me right on everything I’ve ever said about the subject.

Remember when I revealed that the system in place for dealing with asylum seekers and other refugees was not working 100% smoothly and proffered my own suggestions as to what we should do to solve this incredibly simple and straightforward issue? Which weren’t adopted exactly as I said they should be? And then this horrible loss of life followed?

I don’t like to say I told you so, but the conclusion is unavoidable: these people’s deaths prove me right and my political opponents wrong.

Devastatingly, horribly wrong, and people have died.

But that’s not the important thing right now. It’s about the future, not the past. It’s not about blaming my political opponents for being so foolish as to fail to see that I was right. They’ll have to live with what they’ve done. We have to be more constructive than that.

What’s important is using this terrible, terrible incident to make sure that no-one makes the mistake of not listening to me again. I beg you – don’t let these people have died in vain!

Erring on the side of we don’t really care

The headline story in today’s printed version of The Age is an appalling, shocking tale:

He said the Immigration Department had put pressure on asylum seekers to return to Afghanistan when they were denied refugee status, telling them NATO was bringing peace to the country and they would never be let into Australia…

One of the men, Asmatullah Mohammadi, said 11 asylum seekers on Nauru had been killed by the Taliban after they were sent back to Afghanistan.

The director of social justice agency the Edmund Rice Centre, Phil Glendenning, who spent six years travelling the world to investigate the fate of rejected asylum seekers, said he believed 11 deaths was a conservative figure…

TOUR Gul travelled halfway around the world to escape Afghanistan. An enemy of the Taliban, he was convinced he was a target. But in 2002, Australia rejected his plea for asylum and sent him home to his death.

“He was worried. He knew the Taliban would kill him but the government refused him,” said his friend, Salem Haideri.

It has already disappeared off the main page of theage.com.au.

On the plus side, we kept the refugee numbers down that year.