You 'open' the borders and it gives people smugglers the opportunity to exploit people's sheer desperation to get out if their country and away from the horror of their life.
You 'close' the borders and you have to accept that many many people are robbed of even a slim hope of making it to a new life. And you're called cruel and inhuman.
In an ideal world the UNHCR would be doing more to help process and free refugees to go to new lives. They would ACTIVELY work with countries to stamp out people smuggling and they would make the chance to escape a hellish life seem a lot less impossible for desperate asylum seekers.
I'm not saying it's all the fault of the UNHCR, but I don't think without their active cooperation and change any country can effectively solve this issue.
Australia currently takes just under 14000 refugees each year. This number has been relatively constant over a number of years - so our borders have not been 'closed'. The main thing that has changed in recent times has been where these 14000 have come from. When 7000 odd 'asylum seekers' arrive by boat, it just removes Australia's ability to take refugees from elsewhere.
If Australia can take 14000 refugees with zero loss of life, surely this is more humane than taking 14000 refugees with a 560 deaths. (There is a 4% death rate with boat arrivals)
No that's true. I don't mean completely closed, I mean a policy like the Howard Govt's policy when I say closed borders.
Last edited by Father; 18-12-2011 at 16:42. Reason: added the question that was not answered
There is no easy answer to this problem and there is no number of deaths that are acceptable. Neither political party in this country has the solution, there is not always going to be a solution. Interestingly enough if you look at statistics there is a peak in the number of deaths at sea when the lib govt's mandatory detention policy was in full swing, obviously not a deterrent. Unfortunately the people who are coming over here by boat do not have the opportunity to check out the travel brochures and see what the current policy is over here, sure there are some who get the 'travel agent sell' but we all know the real deal doesn't always live up to the brochure. Lies, deceit and desperation is what gets those people on the boats and ends their lives, not our govt's policy.
No deaths are acceptable.
People will still risk their lives to get here whether it's onshore or offshore processing.
I'm always flabbergasted by the amount of media attention boat people receive when thousands more arrive illegally by plane and thousands more than that overstay their visas.
People may still risk their lives, but when there is no incentive to take this dangerous journey, it will be harder for them to justify taking such an action.
Whilst we continue to reward people who take the journey with a red carpet welcoming committee, more and more people will choose to take that risk. The more people who take the risk, the more that will ultimately die at sea.
In regard to your last point, I am not concerned about those that arrive by plane or overstay.They are not putting the lives of innocent children at risk.
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