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  1. #221
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    All this talk of stopping the boats is interesting. As far as I can make out, there are still refugees getting on boats and coming here, they just aren't able to dock. We have literally solved nothing.

    Even if this did somehow solve the issue (which I highly doubt), this isn't the way we should be dealing with it at all. Where is the compassion? Not to mention is is dangerous.

    And just quickly touching on the part where it was implied that we somehow like people dying at sea. What of detention centres Father? What of the huge amount of self harms and attempted suicides? What of the suicide in the last few days? Or that is ok because it wasn't on a boat?

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  3. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by Father View Post
    I am the only one on here that is acknowledging the regular deaths that occurred under the previous government. Over 1000 of them!
    They were human beings. Children. Lured to their deaths by people smugglers.

    If you think that you are more compassionate by turning a blind eye to children drowning then all the power to you.
    If protecting the lives of those vulnerable is the goal of the government, why is the policy not to incept the boats, imprison the smugglers and aid the asylum seekers by commencing processing?

    Would that not deter the real criminals (the smugglers) if there was a risk of actual imprisonment? Instead we send the criminals/smugglers home and the victims/refugees end up in unsafe environments...

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  5. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC View Post
    @Atropos

    Neither category (air or boat) are representative of the people actually in need, who typically do not have the resources to travel half-way across the world and pay people smugglers.

    Irregular migration, whether to Europe or here, turns a difficult situation into an intractable one. Consider the large number of Iranian boat people. They are not refugees. But meanwhile there are 3 million Syrians in camps in Turkey and Lebanon. Our ability to help, limited as it is, is dependent on an orderly migration program with a generous humanitarian component. And this means taking rather harsh measures in the interim to stop irregular migration.
    I would argue that having the funds to pay a people smuggler does not mean you are any less persecuted than someone who does not. Some people sell everything they own to send their families on a boat. We have no way of knowing that one refugee is in more peril than the other without reviewing them case by case- turning them away without doing that breaches the convention and adds to the peril they are already in.
    With specific regard to Iranian refugees- how are they not refugees? Because Bob Carr said so? Amnesty International disagrees. Iranian people face persecution on the grounds of political views, religion, gender, sexual orientation- you name it. Imagine being a Kurd living in Iran- a country still known for widespread human rights abuses.
    Don't get me wrong, I believe those in camps are just as deserving of our aid and am horrified this has been reduced too. But the current policy is not addressing the issues causing refugees to flee. Many developed nations need to band together to help these displaced persons while also getting to the heart of the problems. I don't have a solution- I'm no politician. But I am a human being like all those in need and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that our current policy is contributing to this human misery and danger- not helping.

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  7. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by Father View Post
    Why is it that no one on here can provide a number of acceptable refugees per year?
    Is 1,000,000 refugees a year acceptable?
    Why is it so hard to put a number on it. If you were in government, you would have to budget and allocate funds appropriate to your refugee policy. How many would you budget for? At what point would you have to reconsider your 'open border' policy? Why is that such a hard question for you all to answer? Not one of you has done it yet.
    I'm not an economist or government bureaucrat. I can't answer your question. No one here is- unless is is your shrouded-in-secrecy job F? (Is it? Go on, I'll tell you mine if you tell me yours!). I think you will find that is the reason that no one can answer your question. It's not a matter of coming to an arbitrary number we can all agree on- this is a humanitarian issue and not an issue of border protection. We as a nation should be working with the UNHCR etc to help people in need and do what we can to address the causes of people seeking asylum.

  8. #225
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    @Atropos

    On Iranians, they may be seeking asylum but they are not refugees, under any reading of the Convention, being neither internally nor extenrally displaced.

    On the main question, I am simply arguing that irregular migration hinders our ability to respond effectively, not least because it erodes a social consensus favouring our humanitarian efforts.

    I am particularly mindful of the Hazara, a Shi'ite minority persecuted by not only the Taliban in Afghanistan but in Pakistan as well. But we cannot solve the problems of that region by remote control, and the Hazara need to understand that paying people smugglers to illegally bring them to Australia is not a "solution" for them, or us.

  9. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC View Post
    @Atropos
    and the Hazara need to understand that paying people smugglers to illegally bring them to Australia is not a "solution" for them, or us.
    I completely disagree with you on this I'm afraid. If you were in their position, would you actually be thinking to yourself "My family and I are going to be killed, but we better not go to Australia because it isn't a solution for us or them". I don't think so, extreme circumstances and the threat of persecution, death etc rarely leaves room for rational thought. And neither should it, they need to get out, and get out quick. If we can help save peoples lives and in turn get people who give back to our society, then why wouldn't we do what we can?

  10. #227
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC View Post
    Delirium, I know you are a very clever person, therefore you would understand, in retrospect
    that:




    is logically incoherent.
    How so? I am saying the govt is not sharing figures on the boat people situation anymore. There is a documented black out. Publicly Abbott has said there is no more boats, but the tangible data is not being released to back it up. Therefore how can the media really know for sure?

    That's like me being the head of the Attorney General's Violence Against Women unit, making speeches that all men are abusers, but refusing to release the data to back up my claims. The media then runs with "all men are abusers". It would then be argued the media is unreliable given they don't have the data.

  11. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by beebs View Post
    I completely disagree with you on this I'm afraid. If you were in their position, would you actually be thinking to yourself "My family and I are going to be killed, but we better not go to Australia because it isn't a solution for us or them". I don't think so, extreme circumstances and the threat of persecution, death etc rarely leaves room for rational thought. And neither should it, they need to get out, and get out quick. If we can help save peoples lives and in turn get people who give back to our society, then why wouldn't we do what we can?
    Okay, how does that work? There are more than 5 million Hazara in Afghanistan, almost all of whom could legitimately claim to be at risk of persecution, either now or in the very near future.

  12. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC View Post
    @Atropos

    On Iranians, they may be seeking asylum but they are not refugees, under any reading of the Convention, being neither internally nor extenrally displaced.

    On the main question, I am simply arguing that irregular migration hinders our ability to respond effectively, not least because it erodes a social consensus favouring our humanitarian efforts.

    I am particularly mindful of the Hazara, a Shi'ite minority persecuted by not only the Taliban in Afghanistan but in Pakistan as well. But we cannot solve the problems of that region by remote control, and the Hazara need to understand that paying people smugglers to illegally bring them to Australia is not a "solution" for them, or us.
    From the UNHCR:
    "The 1951 Refugee Convention (as broadened by the 1967 Protocol) provides that the term “refugee” shall apply to any person who:

    "owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it."

    And:

    Asylum-Seeker: an individual who is seeking international protection. In countries with individualized refugee status determination procedures, an asylum-seeker is someone whose claim has not yet been finally decided on by the country in which he or she has submitted it. Not every asylum-seeker will ultimately be recognized as a refugee, but every refugee is initially an asylum-seeker."

    I know that irregular migration is not ideal- but our policy is not stopping irregular migration. It is just stopping it *here*. And it's not illegal when the convention states that anyone make seek asylum here regardless of how they get here. I know the boats are dangerous, I know people risk their lives getting on them. But more often than not- they risk their lives by not fleeing too. I have read many case studies of people who have come by boat and every time, I have tried to imagine what I would do. There is no question in my mind- to save my kids, I'd hope I was brave enough to go.

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  14. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atropos View Post
    I have read many case studies of people who have come by boat and every time, I have tried to imagine what I would do. There is no question in my mind- to save my kids, I'd hope I was brave enough to go.
    I was going to write another post on "the issue" until I came to this. Of course you are correct, as a mother, as a human being. That's why this is a terrible tragedy that has no real solution, and you would have to have a heart of lead not to see it.

    But condoning irregular migration flows is really, really not the answer. Australia can make a real difference to the plight of literally thousands of people every year, but to do that we need an orderly migration program that has broad community support.

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