Thursday, November 06, 2003

Oz response to queue jumpers

I can't quite understand the response of some to the Howard government's policies on illegal immigrants.

There is a perfectly reasonable, liberal, case for those policies that should appeal to the Liberal/Left.

Those people who choose to enter Australia illegally are undermining the entire international system of refugee management and only serve to hurt those refugees who decide to work within the system.

Hundreds of thousands of people live in refugee camps around the world patiently waiting for their cases to be dealt with. Illegal immigrants are those who choose to put themselves before everyone else who may have just as good a case for seeking asylum.

In doing so they force the Australian government to spend millions of dollars on processing them if they reach Australian shores. Funding that is not available for those who unselfishly play by the rules.

This is not to in any way belittle the plight of those desperate enough to put themselves at the mercy of people smugglers but they are seeking to force the hand of the Australian government to give them priority and resources ahead of many others.

It would place any government, Left or Right, in an invidious position.

One point to remember is that it is because of the liberalism of the Australian asylum seeking process that many illegal immigrants languish for so long in camps. The legal review process, offering many opportunities to appeal decisions, can go on for years.

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