Questions about refugee policy

“Eventually, I was directed … to close down the White Russian and East Timorese policies; they were not needed. The other ethno-specific regional HE policies were far too sensitive politically; our global HE policy did not obviously pay adequate respect to the tribo-cultural sensitivities of the communities affected.

There had to have been great flexibility in approvals at certain overseas posts. Why? Because, surprisingly, many HEs, especially the Poles, subsequently returned home to obtain jobs in keeping with their qualifications (such jobs not readily available in Australia). Vietnamese HEs who had allegedly fled the takeover by the communists went back to Vietnam as Australians to conduct businesses. So much for their earlier ‘genuine’ fear of persecution or discrimination!

One cannot obviously be a puritan in the administration of entry policy. … … This is also where back door entry policy, the admission of asylum seekers comes in. Equipped with a passport from one’s country of nationality, a return airline ticket, enough money to cover the nominated period of the visit, a visa or other documentation identifying one as a businessman, visitor, student, etc., one can, after arrival, convert to asylum seeker. The applicant cannot be thrown out as an over-stayer while awaiting a decision. … …

A Singhalese person claiming a fear of persecution in Singhalese Sri Lanka, or a Malaysian Chinese making a similar claim about Chinese-dominated Malaysia, indicate the waste of investigatory resources arising from asylum claims, and the opportunism of applicants and their very vocal supporters.

The public has little to no information about what happens to those legal arrivals, the ones who arrive by air with an appropriate entry document. These represent the greater part of these asylum seekers. Reportedly, most of these applicants are allowed to remain. On what basis? Surely all those accepted could not have produced evidence of persecution or discrimination. Were they also assessed as capable of earning a living in Australia? Are the rejects only those who have failed security checks? Who provides the necessary information? The authorities from whom the applicant claims to be fleeing? Since there seems to be no shortage of local supporters for these applicants, is this form of entry a variation of family reunion?

On the other hand, we are flooded with information about unlawful boat arrivals. Their very vocal Anglo-Australian supporters present them as a form of sacred cow. For instance, we are not allowed to describe them as illegal arrivals! Australia is not to be allowed to reject any, in spite of a seemingly unlimited right of access to appeal courts at taxpayer expense. No reject can be sent home. Indeed, there was that incredible claim that there should be a separate entry category for rejected asylum seekers!”

(Seeking to be declared a refugee is probably the biggest racket going. I recall the then Minister asking me “What do you think about opening the immigration door completely?” This was more than a decade after the introduction of a non-discriminatory entry policy! My spontaneous response was “Why should we believe that we already have the best crooks in the world?” (Refer ‘Musings at Death’s Door’)

Special entry treatment has been sought by a major church (a bigger flock) and by ethnic community leaders (increased electoral power). Caring people used to the government (not the poor scalped taxpayer obviously) handing out money willy-nilly, opportunistic practitioners seeking to open more legal loopholes, rent-a-crowd supporters seeking excitement, and seriously unthinking politicians, all contribute to a dearth of responsible policies regarding side and back door entry into the nation.

However, the tsunami of budgetary deficits beginning to gather strength and direction will no doubt provide a cold shower where this is obviously needed.)