Quaint aspects of humanitarian entry

“Soon, as I was told, the Liberal Party wanted white right-wing HEs, just for a change. These came from Eastern Europe (except Yugoslavia). Anyone claiming to be a refugee seemed to be accepted. In one recorded instance, a man claiming to be a refugee went back home to collect his wife, as advised by an Immigration officer! As with the Indo-Chinese, Australia provided their airfares, housed and fed them in a migrant hostel for 6 months. They received a regular welfare payment, which enabled them to pay for their board and other expenses. They were then allocated a flat for 3 months, to ease their entry into private accommodation.

Many of the Indo-Chinese moving into their own homes were assisted by small loans to buy furniture, much of it not repaid. As a couple of Indo-Chinese girls said to an Immigration officer, ‘You Aussies f…ing stupid. You give money for nothing.’ Little wonder that there was, and still is, such a rush of claims for asylum entry. Acceptance as a refugee permits a lifetime access to the public teat.

Later, the Labor Party sought white left-wing HEs. So I was informed. We found them in post-Allende Chile. However, there soon developed a flood of applicants from all of Central and South America. Then the Vaticanites enabled East Timorese to receive HE admission, even when they were living in Portugal, their country of nationality! Our senior bureaucrats and Ministers can indeed be very flexible in their decision making.

All of a sudden, Poles living within Poland could qualify as HEs! How influential was the Polish Pope? Then, for a while, ‘White Russians’ came from China as HEs. These had fled the arrival of communism in Russia 60 years before. An all-white colleague of mine used to claim proudly that he was Chinese; he was born in China of White Russian parents.

There were also Jewish Russians who had been permitted by the Soviet Government to join close family in Israel but who, on arrival in Vienna, sought El Dorado in Western nations. The Prime Minister of Israel in the 1980s was not happy at having up to 85% of potential citizens deflected elsewhere, mainly by professional recruiters from the USA.

Then, contrary to policy, presumably through Ministerial discretion, a number of Jewish Russian women married to non-Jewish men were permitted entry to Australia. They had left Israel because they did not like their experiences as second-class citizens of Israel. There are two other classes below them, as confirmed to me by my good Jewish Australian friend who had spent some time in Israel. (My friend is not ‘self-hating,’ is knowledgeable, and observes the Jewish traditions). One of these Jewish Russian women subsequently worked for me in the Department of Immigration; she was a worthy immigrant, who also told me a great deal about Israel.”

(No matter how they were enabled to enter Australia, one might expect that most entrants would want to find work or establish a business, in order to make a success of their new lives. That did happen. The exceptions may be, according to our media, many of the recent boat-arriving asylum seekers; their unemployment rate is reportedly high, and for long periods.

The above paragraphs are extracts from ‘Musings at Death’s Door.’)

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