Already as reported on the ABC, the Christmas Island detention centre is beyond capacity, with 2200/2000 people housed after 63 asylum seekers arrived late Tuesday. New arrivals are now being housed in tents or marquees. “That represents basically the end of any sort of orderly immigration system.”
Why don’t the asylum seekers go to China, Russia, Japan or Singapore? They are usually closer.
But I digress.
It’s clear that onshore processing is not working and the centres are overfilling- there are too many people coming. Opposition Border protection spokesman Michael Keenan pegs it, “That represents basically the end of any sort of orderly immigration system.”
If you are a refugee you should be welcome into Australia, the lucky country. After all, Australia was built on migration (just ask our local Aboriginals how migrating visitors has been beneficial to them!). We have been more welcoming of late anyway- we have appointed commissioners on the refugee panel who are sympathetic to your plight to ensure you are more likely to be judged as a refugee (hence the high clearance rates). Let’s end the farce and dispense with the formality.
After all, “Most asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat have their refugee claims approved.”
After all, “a former member of the tribunal, Peter Katsambanis, claimed members of the panel were told to go easy on asylum seekers appealing against department of immigration decisions to send them home.”
So let’s end offshore processing.
Do you know the quarantine bins? We’ll have a new class of bin when you arrive in Australia by aeroplane or boat. Drop you passport in here and mention you are a refugee at the counter. After you dispose of your passport, we won’t be able to infer which country you come from, and to ask you would be racist. (You won’t need the passport anymore since you have already flown to your chosen transit country and disembarked!) Since we won’t detain you offshore, you can move into the community while we assess your claim for asylum. If you commit a crime and are convicted of it in the meantime, we will house you in onshore detention centres- our prison system (and we will provide you a lawyer to argue your case at the taxpayer’s expense).
A refugee will need money to set themselves up in Australia lest they start off destitute. So we should make welfare payments to you until you are on your feet- we can either tax the local population with “you’re not a refugee” tax, or we can strip money from essential services such as hospitals and schools; they don’t need the money anyway. Or we, as a nation, could just borrow more money and put it on the national credit card. We have a head start- the savings from closing detention centres will exceed 1$ Billion per year. At the same time, you may tell your friends from other countries (who will similarly throw out their passports) so they need to be accomodated as well- hence the need for more “budget savings”, such as stripping money out of the foreign aid budget (we are spending it on people not from Australia yes? There is no difference). Not only that, we may pay you a benefit if, sadly, your relatives perish on the perilous voyage at sea because their boat is not seaworthy sometimes in full view of the media. Conditions are good in Australia so the urge to reach here is understandable and the deaths were unavoidable.
Not only that, relatives back in your home country will benefit, or so says Dinoo Kelleghan, a member of the Australian Refugee Review Tribunal for seven years:
“gushing torrents of remittances home from Sri Lankans who have gone abroad for employment, often making empty claims of persecution to leapfrog others… Yes, you can find work in Australia easily. Yes, you get money there even if you don’t work. People get free houses there, money for getting a baby, sustained help in finding work. Just a little bit of hardship at the start but everyone knows you’ll get there in the end, and if you go in by boat as an asylum-seeker the Australian government just has to take notice of you, and they start looking after you straight away.”
Free houses, easy jobs that are below the locals and, if you can’t get either, you get a welfare cheque you can easily send back home… all paid for by the government and the local taxpayers. It’s true that asylum seekers are sometimes barred from taking up employment, but don’t worry, the Australian taxpayer will pay the welfare tab until they are eligible, with 85 per cent of refugees on Centrelink benefits in their first five years here. In fact, you can fly home back to your country of persecution (which you fled in terror) and then back to Australia, to your new home, if it so pleases you. And if this country doesn’t feel like home, if you feel that locals not speaking your language is discriminatory or racist, you can take the local to our anti-discrimination commissioner to plead your case- how dare a local Australian not speak your language to provide you equivalent service! That is discriminatory.
Do you feel that our justice system is unfair, does not reflect your culture or daresay even racist? We can even set up a parallel justice system like the Koori court to accomodate you and your culture. You could have parallel Sharia law if you like. If you have your own enclave of language speakers, you can even have your own religious police to enforce those laws, especially on local Australians who come into your neighbourhood. Your young children can get together and form social groups to protect you from the racist local Australians. We understand if you are more comfortable among your countrymen so if you set up an enclave where services can be localised and you can congregate, all of Australia can benefit from the multiculturalism.
If Australia becomes unrecognisable to the locals in the process, don’t worry. We’ll have been saving your boats for repurposing by then- the local Australians will sail away and hope some other country is as accomodating as we are. After all, if you fled a country that is oppressing you, the locals are entitled to flee a country that resembles such oppression that you escaped from. If the locals return, you will welcome us back, yes?
Offshore processing is not working. Let’s end it now- I, for one, welcome our new neighbours.
- Australian mainland now off-limits to asylum seekers (radionz.co.nz)
- Australian mainland off-limits to asylum seekers (radionz.co.nz)
- Advance Australia Fair (madeleinewhitby.wordpress.com)
- Senate debates continent excise plan (news.theage.com.au)
- On-going hunger strike in The Hague to support imprisoned asylum seekers in The Netherlands (theglobaloyster.wordpress.com)
- Australia gets tough on asylum-seekers (gulfnews.com)
- Out of sight, out of mind: excising Australia from the migration zone (theconversation.com)
- Australia’s Costly Asylum-Seeker Policy Contributes to Nation’s Deficit Woes (world.time.com)
- Charities overwhelmed by asylum seeker pleas (abc.net.au)