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Labor ramps up Rhetoric on Asylum Seekers

July 2, 2013


From The Guardian…

More than 90% of asylum seekers arriving by boat are found to be genuine refugees, but foreign minister Bob Carr has said he believes most are in fact economic migrants and on some boats 100% of the asylum seekers are in fact economic migrants and not genuine refugees.

In a clear signal the Rudd government is preparing for a crackdown on people smugglers ahead of the federal election, Carr said his department was preparing “up to date” information for the immigration tribunals about the political situation in the countries from which refugee applicants come, so they did not approve those who had no genuine fear of persecution.

Carr, who is in Jakarta for bilateral meetings ahead of next week’s scheduled meeting between the leaders of Australia and Indonesia, said the refugee determinations remained a matter for the Australian courts and tribunals, but the message he is sending is clear.

And it came as the new prime minister Kevin Rudd also said he was worried that the constant arrival of asylum seekers by boat would see “the fragmentation of support” for Australia’s migration system.

“Look, let’s just face some facts here, a whole bunch of people who come to this country are economic migrants … some are genuine refugees … but you would have to be deluding yourself if you thought there weren’t a bunch of people seeking to come to this country for economic reasons.”

Former prime minister Julia Gillard’s cabinet had also considered what one source called a “smorgasboard” of options to try to slow the arrivals of asylum seeker boats, which Labor backbenchers have said are “killing” Labor politically. The government has commissioned a review of the processing system in a bid to lower the acceptance rate.

Rudd spoke to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday night, who he is expected to meet in Indonesia next week.

Labor introduced a controversial “no advantage test” on 13 August last year in an unsuccessful attempt to stop asylum boats from coming by insisting that those applying for refugee status in that way received no benefit compared with those who stayed in refugee camps in the region.

The test has meant that there has been virtually no processing of the claims made by the more than 20,000 refugees who have arrived since that time, no information about how long processing could take, and that those who have been released into the community are not allowed to work and receive just 89% of unemployment benefits.

It has been criticised by groups including the Red Cross for leaving asylum seekers in an unacceptable state of vulnerability, distress and poverty.



5 Comments leave one →
  1. egg permalink
    July 2, 2013 10:30 am

    ‘It has been criticised by groups including the Red Cross for leaving asylum seekers in an unacceptable state of vulnerability, distress and poverty.’

    Strongly agree.

  2. July 2, 2013 12:29 pm

    The problem has always been that the test for refugee status has always been far too subjective and that with some rote learning of the correct responses to the pertinent questions claimants have been able to game the system. Its why so many have been accepted and why those of us who don’t mindlessly genuflect to the UN convention have been crying foul for years. It is also why the Australian people have lost all patience with Labor and the Greens on this issue.

    Add to that the fact that all of the boat arrivals deliberately destroy their documents (even when they have flown into Indonesia or Malaysia which would require a valid passport) and their claims looks even dodgier.

  3. TB Queensland permalink
    July 2, 2013 12:36 pm

    You seem to be well versed in the process, IH … what do you do for a living again?

  4. July 2, 2013 12:42 pm

    “what do you do for a living again?”

    😆 😆 😆

  5. July 2, 2013 8:56 pm

    boat-people , both Party`s are making Fcukwits out of themselves. Rudd is the closest to being correct. Asian countries don`t like having their nose rubbed in other`s bullshit. lt is causing `tension`, political, not military tho, like the teabags try to paint it.

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