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Andrew Leigh speaks for the refugees

By johnboy 12 May 2011 34

Canberra’s member for Fraser has blogged his latest speech to parliament on the subject of refugees:

The arrival numbers in Australia are actually very small compared to global asylum seeker applications. The paper makes the point that, in 2009, Australia received 6,170 asylum seeker applications, which is just 1.6 per cent of the 377,160 applications received by the 44 industrialised nations for which the UNHCR tracks figures. Of those 44 nations, Australia was ranked 16th overall and 21st on a per capita basis. It is critical to put the numbers into perspective and to remember that Australia has a long and proud history of accepting refugees for resettlement.

Many people who have come to Australia and made vast contributions to our wellbeing—I am thinking back here to people like Frank Lowy and the many people who came to Australia at the end of the Vietnam War—have made valuable contributions to our society. Australia is better off for being a destination that has welcomed refugees into our midst.

Courageous stuff, a pity he doesn’t point out the vast numbers of illegals who arrive on planes which puts the boat people in the shade. (But they’re mostly white and overstaying their visas.)

What’s Your opinion?


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Andrew Leigh speaks for the refugees
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Thumper 3:54 pm 17 May 11

are you seriously suggesting this represents a majority of muslim immigrants in australia? it is well documented that waves of immigration are beneficial to this country

No, and without doubt.

astrojax 3:52 pm 17 May 11

bit late to this thread, but i still don’t think cpt raaf has a reasonable point at all, nothwithstanding your link, thumper. are you seriously suggesting this represents a majority of muslim immigrants in australia? it is well documented that waves of immigration are beneficial to this country and that the second generation – ie initial immigrants’ children – have excellent integration even if their parents struggled, and learning a foreign language as an adult is hard enough without the extra stresses of a new life, the stresses that caused them to flee their homeland in the first place, etc, etc.. i applaud andrew leigh’s speech and sentiments on this matter and wish some of the embarrassing bogan troglodyte views of the good captain and his ilk were banished from the public dialogue on the matter. alas, this is democracy.

Thumper 9:30 pm 13 May 11

I’m going out on a limb here but I guess CPT RAAF is talking about this, and having recently lived in London I find that he has a very reasonable point.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1386558/Tower-Hamlets-Taliban-Death-threats-women-gays-attacked-streets.html

georgesgenitals 12:54 pm 13 May 11

chewy14 said :

Of course it’s not surprising that people do it. But then again, there isn’t a “better life” clause in the refugee convention either.

Which is the point I was making above. I have no issue with genuine refugees seeking asylum in Australian – it is our moral and legal obligation to take care of them. But many of the asylum seekers don’t fit meet the refugee criteria, and should be turned away.

chewy14 12:24 pm 13 May 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Captain RAAF said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

vg said :

Spend a couple of weeks on Christmas Island, see if your hearts stop bleeding so much

Yes, I see where you are going with this, seeing some of the most desperate people in the world drowning just off shore, hearing their screams for help, would harden my heart so much it would stop it bleeding. Nice one.

Maybe, just maybe, if they’d elected to flee to the nearest safe country from their own horrible one, they would still be alive…..but no, they elected to ‘shop’ for the one that forks out the most cash to migrants, that treats migrants better than the others, that will allow them to invite the rest of their family over once they get settled. They chose the greedy option, not the desperate one!

I think people fleeing death squads in Sudan would probably not be overwhelmed with choices for the nearest safe country. Amazing that people fleeing persecution would want to do what they could to get the best outcome for their children.

Of course it’s not surprising that people do it. But then again, there isn’t a “better life” clause in the refugee convention either.

Captain RAAF said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

vg said :

Spend a couple of weeks on Christmas Island, see if your hearts stop bleeding so much

Yes, I see where you are going with this, seeing some of the most desperate people in the world drowning just off shore, hearing their screams for help, would harden my heart so much it would stop it bleeding. Nice one.

Maybe, just maybe, if they’d elected to flee to the nearest safe country from their own horrible one, they would still be alive…..but no, they elected to ‘shop’ for the one that forks out the most cash to migrants, that treats migrants better than the others, that will allow them to invite the rest of their family over once they get settled. They chose the greedy option, not the desperate one!

I think people fleeing death squads in Sudan would probably not be overwhelmed with choices for the nearest safe country. Amazing that people fleeing persecution would want to do what they could to get the best outcome for their children.

Stevian 11:05 am 13 May 11

Captain RAAF said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

vg said :

Spend a couple of weeks on Christmas Island, see if your hearts stop bleeding so much

Yes, I see where you are going with this, seeing some of the most desperate people in the world drowning just off shore, hearing their screams for help, would harden my heart so much it would stop it bleeding. Nice one.

Maybe, just maybe, if they’d elected to flee to the nearest safe country from their own horrible one, they would still be alive…..but no, they elected to ‘shop’ for the one that forks out the most cash to migrants, that treats migrants better than the others, that will allow them to invite the rest of their family over once they get settled. They chose the greedy option, not the desperate one!

Crawl back under your rock, You Fascist twerp

georgesgenitals 10:21 am 13 May 11

Jim Jones said :

I don’t think that anybody would deny that some refugees would have troubles fitting in to Australia. But given the backgrounds that a lot of refugees come from, is anyone surprised? Hell, if you had to flee your country because you were afraid for your life, odds on you’d be traumatised and have a hard time fitting in anywhere.

And this is the crux of it, I reckon. There isn’t a lot of point bringing/letting people come to Australia then just turning our systems loose on them. I think we’d have far better outcomes if we actually accepted that we should spend some public money and really help people get onto their feet – parents in jobs, kids in schools, introduced to community groups, numbers to call for help, etc.

The reality is that many of the hardest working people I know are either immigrants, or from immigrant families. At a time when Australia needs more humans to do jobs than we have, this could amount to something really good if we let it.

Captain RAAF 10:18 am 13 May 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

vg said :

Spend a couple of weeks on Christmas Island, see if your hearts stop bleeding so much

Yes, I see where you are going with this, seeing some of the most desperate people in the world drowning just off shore, hearing their screams for help, would harden my heart so much it would stop it bleeding. Nice one.

Maybe, just maybe, if they’d elected to flee to the nearest safe country from their own horrible one, they would still be alive…..but no, they elected to ‘shop’ for the one that forks out the most cash to migrants, that treats migrants better than the others, that will allow them to invite the rest of their family over once they get settled. They chose the greedy option, not the desperate one!

vg said :

Spend a couple of weeks on Christmas Island, see if your hearts stop bleeding so much

Yes, I see where you are going with this, seeing some of the most desperate people in the world drowning just off shore, hearing their screams for help, would harden my heart so much it would stop it bleeding. Nice one.

farnarkler said :

Anyone up for a Miss Africa beauty pageant here in Canberra? Let casualty and the riot squad know and let the fun begin.

You would prefer a demonstration of ‘aussie pride’ like that lovely outing in Cronulla a few years back?

farnarkler 8:10 pm 12 May 11

Anyone up for a Miss Africa beauty pageant here in Canberra? Let casualty and the riot squad know and let the fun begin.

Holden Caulfield 4:18 pm 12 May 11

georgesgenitals said :

I’ve always thought we should simply apply to UN test for refugee status on persons claiming asylum. If they pass, let ’em in, if they don’t, send ’em home.

The problem, of course, is determining their true origin and history.

Well, the Refugees Convention does a pretty good job of laying out the definition of a refugee. Given Australia is a signatory to that, I’d say we’re already doing what you suggest. And, you’re right, it’s the documentation/proof and other checks that take time.

FWIW -> http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/61asylum.htm#b

Jim Jones 4:15 pm 12 May 11

georgesgenitals said :

In all fairness, that’s not what he said. He said that these groups don’t assimilate well for a variety of reasons.

Please don’t construe this post as me supporting RAAF’s point of view.

I won’t – I was asking for clarification (hence the question mark).

The argument ‘they don’t assimilate, they’re criminals, etc.’ has been used for every generation of migrants – from the Italians, Greeks and other Europeans, to the Vietnamese and Asian refugees, and now the Muslim and African refugees. In time, the groups have always adapted and become an invaluable part of Australian society.

Most the arguments that have been made just don’t hold water. For example, the statement that Sudanese (or any immigrant group) is overrepresented in crime statistics (this being evidence that ‘they don’t fit in … they form crime gangs’). They’re not overrepresented at all. If you care to look at the actual statistics, immigrants are actually underrepresented (including Sudanese). Sudanese males appear to be involved in a lot of crime because they’re so damn visible when they are involved (they’re absolutely f%^cking massive black dudes – a bit hard to miss – and this fact is mentioned in the media whenever someone is involved – unlike us boring white dudes). Ditto with other immigrant groups du jour.

If you look at the demographics of crime, the biggest crime group are young males – and immigrant communities don’t differ in this respect. The difference is that immigrant adolescents who are involved in crime are viewed by some segments of the community as ‘forming gangs’.

I don’t think that anybody would deny that some refugees would have troubles fitting in to Australia. But given the backgrounds that a lot of refugees come from, is anyone surprised? Hell, if you had to flee your country because you were afraid for your life, odds on you’d be traumatised and have a hard time fitting in anywhere.

Vilifying people because they come from f^&cked up countries (which is precisely the reason they are here as refugees in the first place) seems to me to be a pretty assholish response: blaming the victim. To me, morally, that’s on the same plane as refusing to help someone who’s been sexually abused or bashed or similar.

Regardless, I wouldn’t think that there’s much point arguing with Captain RAAF on this sort of topic. He has his views and they won’t change regardless of whether they are backed up by evidence or not.

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