Australia and Refugees
Following is an excellent article from Peter van OnselenWho’s afraid of 4500 boatpeople? BOTH of the main political parties are keen to display their toughness on border protection, so much so that they seem to have lost sight of the plight of the people who are trying to make their way here in rickety boats.
Why are we so concerned about the 4500 or so boatpeople who have attempted to seek asylum in Australia since the ALP was elected about 2 1/2 years ago?
And let’s not forget that right now Australia houses about 50,000 visa overstayers, mostly from the US, Britain and China.
But the political debate is centred on boatpeople, partly because it plays into people’s (inaccurate) fears about hordes of arrivals from underdeveloped countries who threaten our way of life, and partly because opinion polls continue to show that most Australians oppose illegal immigration.
Australians shouldn’t be afraid of boatpeople trying to come to our country. Our geographical position means that their numbers will always be small compared with refugee migration in other parts of the world.
It’s time our politicians started to lead public opinion on this issue instead of following it.
Bravo, apart from this demonising of refugees, foreigners, students, migrants, etc. it also makes Australians look like followers not leaders…..