Thanks for your comment- I too am not interested in labelling people "haters" or belittling them to prove my point. I appreciate you taking the time to write an actual argument rather than call me names. I also appreciate that you put your name to it with a link to your blog.
Firsty, you state "once you are in you can hop on the gravy train" . What gravy train is that? The one where you are locked behind razor wire? Uncertain of your future for months if not years? Asylum seekers are not eligible for ANY Centrelink benefits at all. Nothing. It is a myth that they are given payments. They have no access to health care cards, medicare etc.
To say "The question of whether these new arrivals are assimilating into our society and making a positive contribution seems to be of little or no concern." What exactly do you mean by assimilate? How do you define a positive contribution?
The fact that so many people "risk life and limb" to come here just proves how horrendous things are in their country of origin. If you look at the statistics over 95% of people seeking asylum in Australia actually arrive by plane! We are not being flooded by people on boats- again another myth.
You state " No wonder so many boat people bypass any number of other safe countries" What safe countries are you referring too? No other countries on route to Australia from the middle east will legally accept asylum seekers.
You also claim "The end result of such a cavalier attitude towards immigration can be seen throughout Europe" , Asylum seekers are NOT migrants. Asylum seekers are not choosing to move here. They are escaping persecution. Migrants are not the same as asylum seekers.
If we are a " soft touch" (and exactly what is soft about locking people in detention? ) why have we only had , since , 1976, 25 380 people arrive by boat seeking asylum, that is an average of ONLY 746 per year!!!! From January to June this year 2, 504 people have lodged asylum seeker claims here, this compared to 2001 when there was 13 000 claims. The numbers of people seeking asylum is dictated by global events not our policies.
I saw the Dateline interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I agree with a lot of what she says. There are actually 43.3 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide at the end of 2009. Last year we provided 13000 places for refugees.
She states: "That scale calls for a complete revamping of immigration policies, and I don't think we should look only at - I mean, we should feel sorry for all 40 million people, but a country like Australia cannot take all 40 million in, so the concept of compassion is not enough now and it's not practical anymore. " OBVIOUSLY we cannot take 40million asylum seekers, i am not suggesting that we do and yes we do need to look at our immigration policies, even though asylum seekers are not immigrants, but she doesn't actually offer a solution so I am unclear of what you think her point is and how she is saying we should not allow asylum seekers into Australia anymore?
As we granted over 4 000 000 permanent and temporary visas last year we clearly can afford to have
13 000 asylum seekers living here.
I absolutely, without a shadow of doubt, wholeheartedly, believe we should Let Them Stay. I feel I have a good understanding of the issues , the complexities of it. I know the system is not perfect , but how can we, as a rich country turn these people away.
By definition an Asylum Seeker is fleeing persecution. They leave because they fear staying, because they fear being killed because of what they believe. We are lucky, we can have this debate without fear of persecution. We are allowed to disagree with our government.
I was trying to avoid a huge rant on the subject but a lot of what you have stated is myth.
I pointed in my post to some good resources, in fact Get Up is a great one, as is the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, both helped me support my argument here. Perhaps you could read where I have referenced as I have where you have referenced.
On the flipside I was so excited by so many supportive comments from many many of you and thanks to Kylie and Catherine for buying a cushion. You guys are ace.