One cannot obviously be a puritan in the administration of humanitarian entry (HE) policy. … … . This is also where back door entry policy, the admission of asylum seekers, also 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 and 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. Then the repeated access to appeal courts, presumably at taxpayer expense, an access not so readily available to, or affordable by, an ordinary Australian citizen!
But, who feeds, accommodates, and pays the medical bills for these asylum seekers while they await this back door entry? 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 such 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!
Asylum seekers should also not be kept in detention where they are provided with full board, education, health and welfare services, we are told. But we are not told who will house, feed, and medicate them were they to be free to roam all over the country while they await a decision. Will their supporters accept that responsibility? Or, is the poor taxpayer expected to provide accommodation in the community (in spite of the thousands of Australian homeless people needing a warm bed), with cash support from Centrelink (the welfare agency) and medical services through Medicare? Officialdom is apparently already required to provide public housing to those accepted as refugees. Welfare benefits and Medicare automatically flow from acceptance. Presumably, family reunion is then available. Who wouldn’t want to be an asylum seeker!
The Anglo-Australian supporters of the boat arrivals claim that all asylum seekers are genuine refugees (how would they know that?) and that they have all suffered trauma and torture (anyone with any evidence?). They seek speedy decisions in spite of the reality that almost all arrivals have torn up their identity papers and other documentation which got them to Indonesia. What does that behaviour suggest? That there is an intent not to be honest? Why? Could some of them be al-Queda or Taliban, or are members of drug or other criminal cartels? How are our authorities to know? We are told that detention has caused mental health problems; but, were those with such problems sent by their families?
There is another moral problem. How could anyone risk the life of a child or one’s womenfolk on one of the asylum seeker boats? Is it then the case that the journey is not as dangerous as it is said to be? In a comparable past experience, were the Vietnamese boat people arriving in Thailand and Malaysia as exposed to the sea and piracy as was claimed by their vocal supporters? How believable is an economic migrant seeking entry by the back door?
(The above is an extract from my book ‘Musings at Death’s Door: an ancient bicultural Asian-Australian ponders about Australian society,’ published in 2012. Since then, much has changed. Initially, a more open door to illegal entry led to a large number of arrivals. With a change of government, Australia’s borders became more tightly protected against arrivals by sea. What of legal arrivals claiming asylum?
There are claimants yet to be assessed, reportedly living in Australia. Then, there are those placed overseas. It is indeed a somewhat murky situation. I am not aware of supporters of asylum seekers willing to take them into their homes, finding jobs, and generally looking after them; except to assist them with their applications and review appeals; and to make loud public protests.
The taxpayer cost of supporting accepted asylum seekers seems high. 91% unemployment after 5 years is a very heavy load for those who cannot minimise their tax burden.
Back-door entry obviously needs to be denied; or the nation loses control of its borders. An integrated populace needs to decide who joins them.