A possie in Aussie

September 21, 2009

Should we worry about boatloads of asylum seekers? Here’s why.

Filed under: asylum,asylum seeker,boat people,refugee — Nayano @ 8:10 am
Tags: , , ,

A boat crammed with 54 people was intercepted by Australian Customs off the West Australian coast yesterday. It was theIt was the seventh boat to have arrived in the past fortnight. Boatload stretches border protection 54 asylum seekers rescued from boat off Australia

Cue: Opposition migration-talker Sharman Stone to recycle Howard-era catch phrases that are at best half-truths, and in all cases a danger to community harmony. Asylum seekers: malicious arithmetic and game show rhetoric

Instead of malicious spin, Stone could engage the government in some real debate, because the increase in numbers of arrivals of asylum seekers actually presents some real concerns.

Around 1300 asylums seekers have arrived this year, and nearly all are proving to meet the criteria as refugees. As they are released they are applying for their families to join them. The majority of them will apply for immediate family groups of around 6 people.

The approximately 13,000 places annually available for humanitarian visas comprise 6000 refugee places, while the rest is allocated to the Other Humanitarian program. The Other Humanitarian program comprises the Special Humanitarian Program, family reunion, and initial onshore protection.

Simple arithmetic shows that, when this year’s arrivals apply for family reunion, this will absorb almost all Other Humanitarian places in the quota.

Reports are that this is already causing animosity from other refugee groups, in particular towards Afghans, who make up the majority of the new asylum seekers.

Will the government have to extend the waiting time for family reunion approvals for this group in order to ease the pressure?

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