A possie in Aussie

May 27, 2009

Australia to Indonesia: Keep those huddled masses out of here!

I recently commented on the news that Authorities in Indonesia have stopped nearly 900 suspected asylum seekers from travelling to Australia since September last year, Indonesia stops nearly 900 asylum seekers: AFP , in ‘Australia’s newest detention centre’

It is a phenomenon that is spreading across the global ‘north’ – that is, rich and powerful nations. Instead of building more detention centres and instituting other policies that draw criticism from their humanitarian-minded citizens, governments are using third-party nations to do their work for them. They are engaging ‘developing nations’, the ‘second world’, to keep out the desperate from the third world.

European countries have policies that essentially deny access by making it as difficult as possible to enter their territory. Countries on the periphery of Europe have the harshest policies, protecting their wealthy neighbours to the north and west, often for money – as does Indonesia for Australia.

The UNHCR states that

“The European Union requires asylum seekers to make their claims in the first European country they enter, meaning that most have to make claims in countries like Greece, Ukraine, Poland, and Slovenia, which denied asylum at rates far greater than other European countries”.

Controlling our borders: making migration work for Britain, the basis for the 2006 UK Immigration Asylum and Nationality act, sees the business of ‘making migration work’ as  attracting economically useful migrants (see ‘The rights of strangers’ in Human Trafficking by Maggie Lee).

Australian Immigration policy is to:

“Contribute to Australia’s future through managed migration. Administer our migration programs to ensure long-term social and economic benefits to Australia, while responding to changing economic circumstances. DIAC Strategic Plan 2009–12

I guess we need to keep the poor and desperate out somehow.

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