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The Forum > Article Comments > A cruel and ineffective policy > Comments

A cruel and ineffective policy : Comments

By Susan Metcalfe, published 26/5/2008

Temporary protection visas destroy human lives, but both Labor and the Coalition have used them to appear to be tough on refugees.

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Anybody who calls temporary protection visas “inhumane” and “unworkable” cannot, surely, be expected to be taken seriously.

Temporary visa were issued only to people who arrived illegally. Don’t bother to tell me that there is no such thing as an illegal ‘refugee’; I’ve heard it all before.

So, instead of being turned around as they should have been, these illegal entrants were granted TVP’s. You can’t get much softer than that as a government.

After the charade had gone on for a little while, most of the illegals were granted permanent residence because the government and DIMIA were not competent to tell a dangerous person from an economic migrant. The system was ‘humane’ in the sense of weakness; it was also ‘workable’ – worked very well by the illegals, in fact! That’s why they came here illegally. They knew they would get away with it. Australia was humane to the point of stupidity.

“If only the major political parties had listened.” What! They didn’t listen to a bunch of emoting left-wingers and intellectuals and self-serving lawyers who would have been happy to fill the place with anyone who decided to turn up. Both Parties used commonsense and listened to the people they served.

The author says, rightly, that: “The introduction of the visas had absolutely no impact on reducing the number of boat arrivals.” And, the stupid Howard Government continued to allow them to stay; Again, hardly inhumane, particularly in view of the fact that the illegals had no business being here in the first place. What a cheek! Turning up uninvited and expecting the Australian Government to sort out their family arrangements, just because they wanted to come to Australia rather than countries of their first, second and even third landfall.

That’s also not playing the game.

Posted by Mr. Right, Monday, 26 May 2008 12:11:19 PM
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And, the poor babies couldn’t find work. They couldn’t study. Tough! Once again, they were not invited to come here.

“Enforced family separation has, without doubt, been the most damaging and cruel condition of temporary visas.” Once again, they did not have to come to Australia. What about the majority of people who have to stay in their own countries and put up with it. They are the people who might deserve some sympathy – not the ones who do a runner.

Now that the ALP has dropped TVP’s, they will have two choices – accept more illegal arrivals or turn them back
Posted by Mr. Right, Monday, 26 May 2008 12:13:30 PM
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I continue to be bewildered at the failure of the refugee lobby to accept that when the people feel strongly about a policy, such as illegal immigration policy, that this policy will be enforced.

The government of the day will either implement the strong desires of the people, or they will be thrown out of office and a party put into office that will do so.

In the traumatic decades ahead of us, the people will not tolerate an influx of large numbers of economic refugees. As unfortunate as it may be, if it is necessary for the navy to sink the boats as the only way to prevent their arrival, this will be endorsed by the people.

If anyone was in doubt of the attitude of the people, the Tampa affair, which re-elected Howard in 2001, should have made it plain.

We are about to enter a very unpleasant period in which rising world population, pollution, and peak oil will combine to enforce economic stagnation at home and starvation abroad. Australia will not be in any way to blame for this, or able to do anything about it.

The sooner the government ceases ALL immigration, so that our population can cease increasing beyond Australia's sustainable level, the better for all. As for overseas, we will just have to watch in profound sympathy but unable to help.
Posted by plerdsus, Monday, 26 May 2008 12:55:09 PM
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In the 2001 election the Australian electorate strongly and clearly indicated that it did not favour a humanitarian refugee program based on people smuggling and secondary movements of asylum seekers. The electorate indicated that it wanted refugee places to go to those most in need, not those having many thousands of dollars to travel around the world seeking their preferred destinations for asylum.

The Howard government’s policies were aimed not at refugees per se but to counter people smuggling and secondary movement asylum seekers. Secondary movement asylum seekers are defined to be asylum seekers who move from a first country of de facto asylum, moving long distances around the world through countries with little interest in persecuting them, in order to settle in affluent Western countries. Almost all secondary movement asylum seekers arrived without identity papers or travel documents, destroying them to make the determination of their identities and verification of their stories of persecution and return to their countries of residence or origin a very time consuming, difficult and costly task.

Mr. Rudd indicated to the electorate before the election that secondary movement asylum seeker boats would be turned back, and those unable to be turned back (for example due to deliberate sabotage or sinking of their boats) would be processed on Christmas Island, and not on mainland Australia. The Pacific Solution was dismantled and temporary protection visas abolished, most probably in response to continual pressure and lobbying from refugee advocacy groups. Most of the electorate has moved on from the asylum seeker debate after the Howard government’s pragmatic response to the problem, however, if people smuggling were to resume it could reasonably be assumed that the electorate would again expect a strong response.

The international refugee system has become most dysfunctional and the distinction between economic migrants and refugees has now unfortunately become very blurred. Adrienne Millbank, an academic from Monash University, wrote a very informative paper entitled “DARK VICTORY OR CIRCUIT BREAKER: AUSTRALIA AND THE INTERNATIONAL REFUGEE SYSTEM POST TAMPA” detailing the dysfunctionality of the international refugee system, which can be found at:
Posted by franklin, Monday, 26 May 2008 3:30:50 PM
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And out trots the deluded Franklin who has been told in every forum in the land that he is talking bunkum and Mr Right who doesn't have a clue about anything at all.

Seeking asylum is not illegal migration, the evidence shows that almost all the refugees on the boats are now permanent residence of Australia, large numbers are citizens and many are now being allowed to have their families with them. The government wasted about $3 billion of taxpayers money to destroy the lives they vowed to the world they would protect when Bob Menzies helped to write the refugee convention.

And the refugee protocol.

And Franklin, the only time secondary movement is genuine is if people already have protection in another country. Which means you moron that everyone we fly here at great expense is a secondary or even tertiary mover because they have protection in other countries.

Which part of "everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution in other countries" don't you raving, redneck nutjobs understand after 7 years of this bogus debate?
Posted by Marilyn Shepherd, Monday, 26 May 2008 4:46:56 PM
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I challenge anyone with any semblance of humanity to look an asylum seeker in the eye and tell them they cannot, under any circumstances, be granted refuge in Australia. Particularly someone who has escaped torture or death in their home country.

Can you really listen to the history of the Jews of Nazi Germany and be proud to have denied them sanctuary?

The reason Howard was so successful with his Tampa policy was because he deliberately manipulated the situation to keep the media away from the asylum seekers and deny them the opportunity to put their own stories to the Australian public. It was this policy of dehumanisation that was unforgivable. Dehumanisation is possibly the most immoral means ever of achieving your political goals (e.g. Nazi Germany, Rwanda, etc. etc.).

As for falling back on the argument that there are plenty of other ‘primary’ countries they could go to (presumably franklin means Indonesia), how fair is it to push the entire burden of the world’s refugees onto the poorest countries in the world? Do that and we’ll end up with more and more failed states on our borders and the prospect of having to defend ‘fortress Australia’ from even more economic refugees.

No I’m not advocating unrestricted immigration into Australia, but a balance is needed, and one that treats people as human beings.
Posted by Cazza, Monday, 26 May 2008 5:06:57 PM
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