A possie in Aussie

April 16, 2009

Boat people drowning in floods of fibs

The Australian Navy has intercepted another people-smuggling vessel with about 49 people on board.

Fourth boat of asylum seekers

200 people have arrived by boat in the last three weeks to seek asylum in Australia. Stephen Smith, Minister for Foreign Affairs, told a people-smuggling conference yesterday that the global recession is expected to lead to a surge in economic refugees, on top of people fleeing war-torn regions such as Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, and human trafficking syndicates are increasing in size and sophistication.

The federal opposition says the recent surge in boat people is because of changes made to government policy by the Rudd government, especially the demise of the Pacific Solution, which warehoused intercepted asylum seekers outside of Australia.

Need we mention all of the other places these untruths are appearing – yes, one of the usual suspects Andrew Bolt still claims that the Howard policies like the Pacific Solution actually worked. Rudd – the people smugglers’ friend

I recently posted Don’t Bolt, Andrew, Rudd is just as effective against boat people that provides counters to these claims.

Mike Steketee has written a brilliant article in today’s Australian, replying to the comments of the opposition about the increases in boat arrivals. Liberals wrong on refugees

Steketee asks, if the demise of the Pacific Solution has led to the increase in numbers,

“why has there been a much bigger surge in plane people applying for asylum? Any weakness in the surveillance of our coastline does not influence those who fly into the country. The misnamed Pacific solution, scrapped by the Rudd Government, never applied to them.”

Arrivals by plane dwarf numbers of arrivals by sea: last year 179, or fewer than 4 per cent of asylum seekers, arrived by boat in Australia.

Ninety per cent of those who came by boat during the so-called ‘floods’ from 1999 to 2003 were assessed as refugees. An average of fewer than half of those who arrive by air are assessed to have legitimate claims.

Steketee also points out that places where refugees from Afghanistan have traditionally fled such as Pakistan have become places of danger themselves.

“Why are the Liberals still talking up the threat of a few boatloads of people wanting to settle in Australia, Steketee asks.

“Certainly, inconvenient facts are not allowed to stand in the way”.

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