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Dutton offensive on asylum-seekers

By John Hargreaves - 30 May 2016 84

ss new australia

When I came to Australia in 1952, I couldn’t speak English, I couldn’t count to 10 and I came by boat. If Minister Dutton had been on the wharf, would he have turned my boat back?

I know heaps of people who run restaurants, market stalls, who are builders and taxi drivers. I know many hard-working people who clean other people’s toilets and bathrooms, who tend other people’s gardens and do menial jobs because those jobs are available because Australian-born people won’t do them.

Almost all of them couldn’t speak English when they came to Australia and hardly any of them have taken jobs of Australian-born people; neither have they spent a lot of time on the dole queue.

I have met a few old blokes who plied their trade, without the benefit of English, on the Snowy Hydro scheme. Nuff said.

Snowy hydro

And I remember in about 1975 and 1976, people saying that our Australian way of life is under threat from the Vietnamese invasion by leaky boats. They were going to destroy our way of life and take our jobs. Sound familiar?

asylum seekers

As an aside and to show another similarity, we had bombed their country to blazes to fight an anti-West ideology far from our shores and these people were the victims of that war. Sound a bit like Iraq, Afghanistan? Syria?

I also know of a couple of Australian-born people who work the required number of hours in a volunteer capacity deliberately so that they can satisfy the dole test requirement where, if you do the required hours of volunteer work, you don’t have to show that you have submitted job applications. Sound like a dole bludger to you?

I understand, anecdotally, that in Nimbin and Kuranda in Queensland, it is the accepted way of life to have the major source of one’s income from the public purse in lieu of actual manual or intellectual labour, for which a wage is paid and taxes duly handed over.

So Minister Dutton has raised the spectre once again that these asylum-seekers, speaking no English and being largely illiterate in their own language, being innumerate and stealing places in the dole queue, are a major threat to our way of life.

Rounding the numbers just for ease of imagery, the Libs want a limit of 15,000, Labor 34,000 and the Greens 50,000.

From where I’m sitting, I can’t see a huge threat from an influx of genuine refugees numbering less than half the number of people who live in Tuggeranong. I can’t see my lifestyle being threatened by a small number of folk being brought here from the misery of Manus and Nauru as a gesture of humanity, with no guarantee of repetition. I can’t see any chance of the menial jobs like fruit picking being threatened by the acceptance of these asylum-seekers.

But I can see a scare campaign taking hold. It is sad that those who wouldn’t apply for a cleaner’s job, a fruit picker’s job, a menial task, would deny someone who deserves a break.

It’s sad that those whose employment results in a financial return that can raise the deposit for a number of negatively geared properties or island-based investment strategies, whose philosophy is the trickle-down effect (while not actually doing it), can’t see that our nation was built by these hard-working, salt of the earth type folks.

My own party, the ALP, is a bit better in that they want to raise the intake figures but anything short of closing Manus and Nauru and opening on-shore processing centres, will not satisfy me.

The Greens will never be in power anyway so they can take a moral high ground as usual.

Oh, back to the beginning. I came to Australia in 1952, aged three years old. Naturally, English was not my strong suit, neither was counting and I lived in two process centres for the next six years. And when I left school to find work having not completed high school, I refused to apply for the dole and did whatever I could find.

I say bring them in, welcome them in, and reap the benefits.

What’s Your opinion?


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84 Responses to
Dutton offensive on asylum-seekers
Mysteryman 3:59 pm 30 May 16

Acton said :

Mysteryman said :

HenryBG said :

It is not illegal to seek asylum. it is illegal to overstay a visa.

Please top muddying the waters with this statement.

Under both our Migration Act, and the UN refugee convention, it IS illegal to arrive by boat without a visa unless you’ve come *directly from the state you are seeking asylum from*. As the boats are coming from Indonesia, without any Indonesian asylum seekers on board, then yes, the asylum seekers are arriving here illegally

Why then has none of these thousands of people you claim are breaking the law been charged with this offence? Not one. Ever.

You would think that these ‘Tough on Asylum Seeker’ governments would have charged at least one person by now if they were breaking the law. But they haven’t. Not one. Ever.

What possible explanation could there be for the Government failing to enforce this law?

Could it be because that the Government knows full well that it is not illegal to arrive without a visa for the purpose of seeking asylum? Just possibly Mysteryman, the Government knows a bit more than you!

Why do you think they get detained when they attempt to arrive here? There’s a reason why they face detainment, while you and I can travel outside of Australia and return without being detained. It’s because we aren’t arriving unlawfully, and they are.

Mysteryman 3:08 pm 30 May 16

Mordd said :

Mysteryman said :

HenryBG said :

It is not illegal to seek asylum. it is illegal to overstay a visa.

Please top muddying the waters with this statement.

Under both our Migration Act, and the UN refugee convention, it IS illegal to arrive by boat without a visa unless you’ve come *directly from the state you are seeking asylum from*. As the boats are coming from Indonesia, without any Indonesian asylum seekers on board, then yes, the asylum seekers are arriving here illegally.

You are muddying your own waters.

The UN refugee convention does not obsess over the means of transport, unlike for some weird reason the bigots, who are confusing arriving with seeking asylum, the two are separate.

Sorry pal, you’re just trying to convolute the issue to suit you’re own agenda, which seems to be nothing more than throwing about pejorative labels for people you don’t like.

For starters, it’s not the UN convention that determines if it’s illegal. It’s the Migration Act. The UN convention just stipulates that we won’t punish them providing they have met the conditions (which they have not). I said “by boat” because it was easier than typing out the technical term as outlined in the Migration ACT – “unauthorised maritime arrival”. But regardless, arriving without a visa by boat is unlawful.

Get your facts straight.

No_Nose 2:22 pm 30 May 16

Mysteryman said :

HenryBG said :

It is not illegal to seek asylum. it is illegal to overstay a visa.

Please top muddying the waters with this statement.

Under both our Migration Act, and the UN refugee convention, it IS illegal to arrive by boat without a visa unless you’ve come *directly from the state you are seeking asylum from*. As the boats are coming from Indonesia, without any Indonesian asylum seekers on board, then yes, the asylum seekers are arriving here illegally

Why then has none of these thousands of people you claim are breaking the law been charged with this offence? Not one. Ever.

You would think that these ‘Tough on Asylum Seeker’ governments would have charged at least one person by now if they were breaking the law. But they haven’t. Not one. Ever.

What possible explanation could there be for the Government failing to enforce this law?

Could it be because that the Government knows full well that it is not illegal to arrive without a visa for the purpose of seeking asylum? Just possibly Mysteryman, the Government knows a bit more than you!

chewy14 2:09 pm 30 May 16

Leon said :

justin heywood said :

Well it’s unfortunate that reality and evidence disagree with your anecdotes John.

The immigration department’s own reports and data outline the significant cost of resettling refugees and the lower outcomes they have in education and employment for many years after they arrive. Which is completely understandable when you consider the position they’ve often come from.

It’s fine to want to help people but don’t ignore or downplay the large challenges and costs that come with doing so with some idealised notion of a refugee.

…and the significant costs of the current anti-refugee policies?

$55 million for 2 refugees shoved off to Cambodia?

Bigotry is not price sensitive, maximum pain is always worth whatever you throw at it.

The draconian anti-democratic secrecy used to hide what is actually happening is the real price we are having to pay for both major parties fighting over the xenophobic vote.

The currently high costs are mainly to do with the change in policy settings under the previous government that caused the massive increase in arrivals who had/have to be processed. Once those remaining in detention are processed and released/accepted elsewhere costs will drop significantly due to the reduced need for detention facilities and operational costs.

Even still, it’s far cheaper financially than resettling 50k refugees per year as has been suggested by the Greens.

And what this has to do with bigotry or xenophobia I’m not sure, unless you’re suggesting having a controlled border is xenophobic in and of itself.

I would think a workable refugee resettlement program where we help those most in need rather than giving preferential treatment to those with the means and ability to travel through multiple third countries to get here would be something that everyone would support.

Shouldn’t equitable treatment be the starting point of any program?

rubaiyat 1:21 pm 30 May 16

justin heywood said :

Well it’s unfortunate that reality and evidence disagree with your anecdotes John.

The immigration department’s own reports and data outline the significant cost of resettling refugees and the lower outcomes they have in education and employment for many years after they arrive. Which is completely understandable when you consider the position they’ve often come from.

It’s fine to want to help people but don’t ignore or downplay the large challenges and costs that come with doing so with some idealised notion of a refugee.

…and the significant costs of the current anti-refugee policies?

$55 million for 2 refugees shoved off to Cambodia?

Bigotry is not price sensitive, maximum pain is always worth whatever you throw at it.

The draconian anti-democratic secrecy used to hide what is actually happening is the real price we are having to pay for both major parties fighting over the xenophobic vote.

rubaiyat 1:10 pm 30 May 16

Mysteryman said :

HenryBG said :

It is not illegal to seek asylum. it is illegal to overstay a visa.

Please top muddying the waters with this statement.

Under both our Migration Act, and the UN refugee convention, it IS illegal to arrive by boat without a visa unless you’ve come *directly from the state you are seeking asylum from*. As the boats are coming from Indonesia, without any Indonesian asylum seekers on board, then yes, the asylum seekers are arriving here illegally.

You are muddying your own waters.

The UN refugee convention does not obsess over the means of transport, unlike for some weird reason the bigots, who are confusing arriving with seeking asylum, the two are separate.

Considering what else has been written into our Immigration Act should we perhaps be reinstating the infamous Dictation Test to our laws?

Personally I find the lonely figure of Tony Abbott on Manly wharf hilarious. Is this force of habit?

Is he trying to turn back more boat people? Shouldn’t he be representing all £10 Poms by standing at Circular Quay trying to turn back, belatedly, the White Boat People of 1788 that started all the trouble?

rubaiyat 12:56 pm 30 May 16

HenryBG said :

The benefits I see in giving asylum to those fleeing persecution, is that it is the right thing to do for someone who is in dire straits.

I have criticised Governments of both persuasions for not cracking down on tourist visa overstayers and these can number tens of thousands each year. I heard of a statistic when I was more involved than I am now of 60,000 overstayers in about 2008 or so.

It is not illegal to seek asylum. it is illegal to overstay a visa.

I don’t see why compassion should not reign for those on Nauru and Manus Is. We can still have the disincentives for people smuggling (although I don’t support the turn back policy) but surely those on Nauru and Manus w]have stayed there long enough. We know that most of them are genuine and those who aren’t can be shipped home.

We actually benefit in this country by having a genuine polyglot population. Apart from not having British fat laden food everyday and enjoying the multicultural cuisine that we do, thanks to the many cultures we have living alongside us, we actually have a unique insight how other tick.

It is the fear of the unknown which breeds xenophobia and it is the false straw-man tactics of those who wish to exploit and create fear that does the, us and the whole nation a disservice.

In answer to the suggestion that I seek the views of folks in the UK, I have. and they are more xenophobic then ever I could imagine.

But it is the fact that there has not been a policy of distribution of cultures like we see in Canberra. IN other Oz capitals and indeed overseas aplenty, enclaves of cultures have been allowed to spring up, bringing all the ancient and irrational antipathies and enmities and allowing them to fester in those enclaves.

In Canberra, there are no enclaves, no ghettos of cultural differences. People have all cultures and religions living in the their streets and we celebrate that diversity. I’m proud of it and only wish people like Morrison and Dutton would drift our of Manuka and Kingston , up to Belco or Tuggers and see how real multiculturalism works.

It is this understanding which makes the ACT a more compassionate and a less xenophobic city than elsewhere.

John I strongly suspect you are arguing with a fellow Pom, but of a different cut. Like Pauline Hansen one of those who thinks they have special and exclusive rights to this country, not shared by anyone else, including the original inhabitants.

Mysteryman 12:29 pm 30 May 16

HenryBG said :

It is not illegal to seek asylum. it is illegal to overstay a visa.

Please top muddying the waters with this statement.

Under both our Migration Act, and the UN refugee convention, it IS illegal to arrive by boat without a visa unless you’ve come *directly from the state you are seeking asylum from*. As the boats are coming from Indonesia, without any Indonesian asylum seekers on board, then yes, the asylum seekers are arriving here illegally.

chewy14 12:24 pm 30 May 16

Well it’s unfortunate that reality and evidence disagree with your anecdotes John.

The immigration department’s own reports and data outline the significant cost of resettling refugees and the lower outcomes they have in education and employment for many years after they arrive. Which is completely understandable when you consider the position they’ve often come from.

It’s fine to want to help people but don’t ignore or downplay the large challenges and costs that come with doing so with some idealised notion of a refugee.

John Hargreaves 12:22 pm 30 May 16

The benefits I see in giving asylum to those fleeing persecution, is that it is the right thing to do for someone who is in dire straits.

I have criticised Governments of both persuasions for not cracking down on tourist visa overstayers and these can number tens of thousands each year. I heard of a statistic when I was more involved than I am now of 60,000 overstayers in about 2008 or so.

It is not illegal to seek asylum. it is illegal to overstay a visa.

I don’t see why compassion should not reign for those on Nauru and Manus Is. We can still have the disincentives for people smuggling (although I don’t support the turn back policy) but surely those on Nauru and Manus w]have stayed there long enough. We know that most of them are genuine and those who aren’t can be shipped home.

We actually benefit in this country by having a genuine polyglot population. Apart from not having British fat laden food everyday and enjoying the multicultural cuisine that we do, thanks to the many cultures we have living alongside us, we actually have a unique insight how other tick.

It is the fear of the unknown which breeds xenophobia and it is the false straw-man tactics of those who wish to exploit and create fear that does the, us and the whole nation a disservice.

In answer to the suggestion that I seek the views of folks in the UK, I have. and they are more xenophobic then ever I could imagine.

But it is the fact that there has not been a policy of distribution of cultures like we see in Canberra. IN other Oz capitals and indeed overseas aplenty, enclaves of cultures have been allowed to spring up, bringing all the ancient and irrational antipathies and enmities and allowing them to fester in those enclaves.

In Canberra, there are no enclaves, no ghettos of cultural differences. People have all cultures and religions living in the their streets and we celebrate that diversity. I’m proud of it and only wish people like Morrison and Dutton would drift our of Manuka and Kingston , up to Belco or Tuggers and see how real multiculturalism works.

It is this understanding which makes the ACT a more compassionate and a less xenophobic city than elsewhere.

Mysteryman 12:02 pm 30 May 16

“So Minister Dutton has raised the spectre once again that these asylum-seekers, speaking no English and being largely illiterate in their own language, being innumerate and stealing places in the dole queue, are a major threat to our way of life”

No, he didn’t John. But I wouldn’t expect you to know the difference between what you claim he said and what he actually said.

Dutton’s claims regarding literacy and welfare were backed up by data from the BLNA report. I suggest you read it before you make more posts about this issue. He made those claims to highlight the fact that raising the intake numbers to levels desired by the Greens would not be fair or sustainable since people being granted humanitarian visas require a lot more assistance in integrating than simply dumping them in a city/town. And he’s right.

“From where I’m sitting, I can’t see a huge threat from an influx of genuine refugees numbering less than half the number of people who live in Tuggeranong.”

You’re right; you can’t see. 34,000 people a year is almost the population of Orange, every single year. You haven’t thought much about the requirements to successfully integrate that many people. More than assisting them with literacy/education, finances, vocations, and accommodation, there are the more long term social issues related to people who have experienced significant trauma (which, if they are genuine asylum seekers, they will have experienced). Trauma related psychological help is time consuming, expensive and requires trained professionals to help with – especially if we hope to successful integrate these people into Australian society (which we do). We can’t dump them somewhere and just hope for the best without providing them the support they need. It wouldn’t be fair to them or the people already living there (which, historically speaking, wouldn’t be in any of the areas the Greens politicians live in – fancy that!).

I think there is scope to increase the current numbers, but it needs to be done gradually with a view to ensure that the quality of care and assistance provided to these people doesn’t suffer. I have absolutely no confidence in the Greens to be able to accurately assess sustainable levels, and I think Labor is just trying to buy votes without a real plan.

rubaiyat 11:51 am 30 May 16

Back when I was a young Uni student and an indolent work-shy son of similarly work-shy immigrants (my father was a Stateless refugee when he came here), I was studying and holding down three jobs, one of which was contract cleaning and maintenance for the NSW Housing Commission.

We frequently ran into British migrants who had come to Australia and immediately put their hand out for Housing Commission (who they still called The Council) subsidised accommodation and seemed incapable of standing on their own two feet.

Those people were of course not representative of all British migrants, but noticeable (for me) was that I did not encounter any non-British/Australian “bludgers”. It seemed a very Anglo world. All the migrants I knew, and that was a huge number from many different cultures and backgrounds, were hard working and looking after themselves.

Since then I have encountered many newer migrants through employing them on a property of mine, and not unexpectedly there are some that have trouble with English, but I assume are fluent in at least their own language, English just being another string to their bow. They were all hard workers and many of them by necessity had to work for themselves.

There is a sharply hypocritical stance taken by the surreptitious racists out there, as usual having a field day with any new arrivals to Australia, of both demanding that refugees not be allowed to work and then complaining about them having to live off social security, or having to resort to illegal and usually underpaid work. Usually menial and unwanted jobs by Australian citizens.

How these people can simultaneously be “lazy” and “stealing jobs” is up to the actively non-imagination of the bigots to work out.

dungfungus 8:47 am 30 May 16

If you had stayed in the England John you would see first hand how the “reaping of the benefits” of open door migration has enriched the UK.
Ask the people who lost family in the numerous terrorist attacks in the UK during this period.
To your credit, you “tolerated” early re-settlement life in Australia without complaint and had a strong work ethic. I admire you for not seeking the dole and accepting any job that was going. That mentatlity is indeed an alien concept to most young Australians I know these days.
Of course, it is all very different today with quasi illegal immigrants (and their taxpayer funded advocates) constantly complaining about their standard of accommodation (luxury compared to what you had) and their “rights”.
Not one of them refuses any of the many taxpayer funded entitlements that are foisted upon them and they are not really interested in getting a job and contributing to our society.
They enjoy our system and retain their own culture, things that you appear to ignore.
It is not only Nimbin and Kuranda who have whole communities on the the public teat either. Several suburbs in Western Sydney are also in that league.
Where are the “benefits” for us?

rubaiyat 8:23 am 30 May 16

Last Night SBS presented “Hitler’s Jewish Neighbours”, showing yet another side to a story of just how some people turn on other people because they are different and there is an opportunity to steal from them. When the Jews tried to escape the persecution and gas chambers, to flee to another country, most countries turned them away or interned them.

Ironically, the Allies benefited from all those who did succeed in escaping the Nazis, and that helped us win the War.

wildturkeycanoe 7:34 am 30 May 16

There are some big differences between yourself and refugees nowadays. The first, blatantly obvious one, is that you arrived legally and with appropriate documents. The current batch has tried to enter illegally and now claim unfair treatment. Will an open border policy suit your argument, encouraging foreigners to come here en mass and anonymously without criminal checks? It can’t be easy for the Australian security forces to verify their background with only a fictitious name to go on.
The other big difference is the job market. Have you not been watching the news, seeing how farmers are bulldozing orchards, fighting for survival because of supermarket swindling? Manufacturing and mining are becoming extinct. When you arrived we had need of tradespeople for large projects such as the Snowy scheme and housing. What have we now except more unemployment as jobs get made redundant due to our technological advances and a poor economy.
Our own children struggle to get these apple picking jobs you rave about, then battle with cost of living if and when they get a mundane minimum wage “career” that has no structure for progression.
Until this “land of opportunity” turns around and creates more jobs, we don’t need more mouths to feed and an extra burden on the welfare system, which if you look at the stats is where most refugees end up.

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