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    Good News From Australia

    by Shariq on 14th August, 2006 at 1:37 pm    

    John Howard’s efforts to introduce draconian legislation requiring all asylum claims to be processed offshore have been defeated. Interestingly, the bill was allegedly more to placate the Indonesian government than a result of Mr Howard’s own biases (although I’m sure they contributed).

    For some facts and figures about migration to Australia and a very interesting discussion about Australians hopes and concerns over multiculturalism, see this post by Australian Senator Andrew Bartlett.

    Print this page and comments   |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Current affairs, Civil liberties

    9 Comments below   |  

    1. sonia — on 14th August, 2006 at 2:45 pm  

      Interesting - i’ve had a look at this Andrew Bartlett’s blog. it would be something if we had UK MP’s who actually had some idea about immigration, visas UK and could place asylum seekers in that context.

    2. mirax — on 14th August, 2006 at 2:46 pm  

      Good. I read recently about some afghan children being packed off back to their country, it seemed clear that refugee cases that were parked offshore got the shove much more frequently.

    3. Sunny — on 14th August, 2006 at 3:57 pm  

      Good news! The Tories were trying to implement a version of this here too, saying they wanted “processing centres” in foreign countries that would deal with asylum seekers and immigrants before they came here. Thankfully that stupid policy has now died.

    4. Leon — on 14th August, 2006 at 4:07 pm  

      Didn’t Labour steal this policy from the Tories too and try it for a while?

    5. Old Pickler — on 14th August, 2006 at 4:38 pm  

      Offshore processing centres are a brilliant idea. Genuine asylum seekers who are actually in fear for their life would put up with it. The many bogus ones wouldn’t - they could go to France for a change.

    6. shariq — on 14th August, 2006 at 5:58 pm  

      Old Pickler, I don’t think you’re aware of just how bad the asylum process is right now. The fact that a lot of these people are living within a community and can just about get access to legal advice ensures that a lot of genuine asylum seekers who would otherwise be deported remain in the UK.

      Moving them offshore would reduce the checks on Home Office workers and prevent access to lawyers, doctors and translators. Furthermore it would move them away from the public eye reducing the amount of sympathy they are able to generate when cases go wrong.

      For these reasons, even if they marginally reduced bogus asylum seekers I would still oppose this. However you haven’t even explained how this would happen. I ould be happy to respond to any points you bring up.

    7. Gaz — on 14th August, 2006 at 6:46 pm  

      It would make sense to allow people to apply for asylum at their local British embassy. This would help take the gangsters out of the equation, stop thousands of deaths in transit and help weed out purely economic migrants.

    8. Arif — on 15th August, 2006 at 12:26 pm  

      I think that rising fear of asylum seekers cannot be dealt with within a framework of nation states. Particularly not in the framework of welfare states where people fear both asylum seekers working, and then are angered by them living on benefits when they are not allowed to work.

      But asylum is a human right which must be protected, and I think most politicians want to do so but are also responding to moral panics. So then there is cynicism that Governments don’t really care about asylum on the one hand and they don’t really care about “protecting borders” on the other. Australia has ended up particularly brutal, but I believe they have stumbled on to something which could become much better - taking refugees in through the UNHCR. At the moment, this isn’t protecting people properly, but it could and should.

      I think that the UNHCR (UN Commision for Refugees) should become a far more powerful institution, which provides genuine protection and allocates asylum-seekers to other countries taking into account both where they have connections and agreed proportions for each country.

      In the end, funding for welfare should also be provided through the UNHCR until people get refugee status. And the UNHCR should be accountable and transparent to take people’s claims seriously and not returning people to potential danger. Along with other countries, Govt funds which currently go into the IND to process asylum claims and to benefits for asylum-seekers should go to the UNHCR to do this fairly on Britain’s behalf.

    9. brookee — on 8th September, 2006 at 5:58 am  

      i think this is a really controversial subject and that there is really good arguments both for and against asylum seekers being processed either onshore and/or offshore. i am doing a debate on this topic and i am currently discussing the cost associated with sending these people offshore to be processed. i have been blown away by the enourmous costs and what these people are going through both in their own counrty and in Australia. originally i had a strong veiw about this subject and that was that these people should come accross legally and therefore we should have absolutely no sympothy for these people. b ut as i have continued to research this subject and issue i have become more aware of what these people go through and the circumstances they are out through, i n ow have sympothy for these people and i wonder why before i did not think of this. thankyou luv brookee

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