GetUp! have launched a new TV ad featuring Afghan refugee, Riz Wakil, as a counter to the new Tony Abbott ads. So now I ask, what’s your view?
Personally I think its a complex issue that is getting massacred by both sides of politics.
On the one hand, human trafficking is a dangerous and grubby business and it’s not unreasonable for Australians to have concerns about human trafficking and our border security in this age of globalised crime and global terrorism.
But on the other hand, most of the asylum seekers we’ve taken in by boat over the years have turned out to have been genuine refugees who’ve experienced genuine persecution. So the demonisation and long term detention of the many innocents, by us, is just plain unconscionable.
Moreover, when more than 90 per cent of asylum seekers still arrive by plane it’s a bit of a lark that so much of the focus is on boat people. There’s some myths that need exposing here.
What to do?
So, what to do? I think we all need to start listening to one another more actively. I think we need to start asking the question, how can we protect our way of life in such a way that we protect our way of life? How can we guard against criminals without committing crimes against genuine victims?
2 thoughts on “Refugees or Illegal Immigrants?”
Interesting that Australia is having immigration discussions too. Here too I wish that there was more listening going on but then I confess that I am at a loss of understanding the resistance to reforming our very broken immigration system. When it is next to impossible for so many to come legally and no clear time when the avenues to legal immigration are going to be made smoother then it’s a bit much to me when people complain about the illegality being their reason. (and I do believe that some business like the current system that allows them to take advantage of people that are not in a position to complain)
In South Africa we have special courts for the World Cup, where justice can be swift. Part of the thought behind it is that foreign visitors will be around for a short time, and if they are robbed, scammed etc, they will soon go home and won’t be around to give evidence. But an interesting thing has emerged – most of the crimes against foreign visitors have been committed by foreigners. The globalisation of crime seems to be a real problem.