Asylum seekers – what now?

Media reports in Australia tell me that our federal politicians are driven more by politics than by policies; that might explain their apparent ineptitude in ‘stopping the boats,’ which now represent a flood. What about the temporary visa-holding ‘wannabe’ refugees – should we also discourage this form of attempted back door entry?

A few questions arise: Are the vociferous supporters of asylum seekers simply reflecting that view emanating from institutional Rome that increasing the population is God’s Will? Or, do our politicians prefer beard-less Muslims (and their families)? In any event, who cares for the national interest, especially in terms of the taxpayer burden; inter-community relations (yes, that too); good governance; the equitable treatment of those most in need (both within and outside Australia); and morality (even that)?

Since Immigration authorities at airports have the authority to turn back temporary visa holders believed not to be genuine visitors/students/etc., should not those who seek asylum after entry to Australia also be sent back to the point of departure to Australia, and for the same reason? Or, should we reward those who seek permanent residence in Australia but avoid the process of selection?

As for the boat arrivals without visas (and, worse still, without documentation as to identity), should they not now be the responsibility of UNHCR? The simplest solution is for Australia to pay for the establishment of a UNHCR processing centre in one of the Indonesian islands (the Indonesian Government should be happy about that); for Australian border protection vessels to intercept (in real terms) any vessels in Australian waters carrying suspected asylum seekers, and to guide them to this centre; for UNHCR officials to identify those who have provided evidence to back their claims of holding a genuine fear of official persecution on return to their country of nationality; and for Australian Immigration officials to select from those so identified only those who are assessed as capable of settling peacefully into Australia, while not likely to be a welfare/health/political/security burden to the nation.

The proposal here is quite simple. It is that Australia selects, within the budgeted entry limit, those we would help to re-settle; and not the other way around. But then I have never seen squadrons of porkers surfing the thermals either!