Monday, October 13, 2008

Softer approach for refugees and asylum seekers.

This is my whinge for the day...... I sometimes berate myself for these thoughts and feelings, then I is either US or Them. I know how I want to live the rest of my life and it is not in fear for myself, my family, my friends or my community. Even jesus said for us not to live amongst "undesirables" who will cause trouble and strife amongst those living a peaceful life.


Is the screaming headline in the Comment & Debate section of today’s Age Newspaper 13th Oct 2008…Page 11.

The Director of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture and also has been a member of the Federal Government’s Immigration Detention Advisory Group for the past 7 years…Mr. Paris Aristotle.

Two boats and 30 people is no reason to return to failed policies…this is a reference to the illegal boat people that have arrived here over the last 3 years and Mr Aristotle’s idea that we should not be making it harder for illegal refugees, or as he refers to them…asylum seekers. It is true that the arrival of boat people virtually stopped in recent years but this was not because detention and TVP’s (Temporary Protection Visa) deterred asylum seekers. Many of them were quite unaware of what they might face in Australia – as is the case of this young man Ali who fled from Iraq in the wake of Saddam’s persecution of the Kurds and Shiites….so does this mean he was a Sunni????? Or a Christian???? I take it he was of the former because if he was of the latter it would be mentioned as Christian Persecution no doubt. But yeah by all means keep out the fact that he could be a muslim. Ali spent 8 years in a Pakistani refugee camp and under the threat of being repatriated to Iraq, which made Ali one big bunch of frayed nerves. Ali did witness the death of his father when his village was raided by Saddam’s henchmen. So all this resulted in Ali’s family resorting to the people smugglers on the journey to Australia.
Now we all know that these people smugglers really lay it on thick to these refugees seeking asylum in far off lands. They know only too well what the benefits are and they tell these seekers of the good things that await them. Like our judicial system and the generous government benefits and available services, which I have no doubt includes FREE legal services. But alas, Ali and the rest of his family ended up in Woomera for more than a year. Ali and his family were then granted refugee status, but their 3 year TPV meant they were not entitled to English language classes, assistance to find employment or other settlement services, on top of that this time does not count towards their obtaining citizenship.

Mr Aristotle believes that “Detention and TVP’s were punitive instruments designed to deter unauthorised asylum seekers from seeking refuge in Australia by making it less attractive than other Western countries”.

The former Govt. claimed Australia was a soft target for people smugglers because of our generous refugee status and judicial systems and available govt. services. Mandatory detention was said to be in the National interest and protected the integrity of our asylum systems by ensuring unsuccessful claimants were “available for removal”.

Mr Aristotle bleats how detention is so soul destroying and is a result of the “Pacific Solution” where in reality more than 90% of asylum seekers held in detention were granted protection in accordance with the law, and of those remaining in detention eventually received visas. Many of those visa were granted for compassionate reasons, and not necessarily due to their asylum claims but because the system had harmed them so severely.

There is one school of thought that would argue that the soft approach would only encourage more illegal boat people here. The other school wants to tighten up controls even more than they have been. He advocates for a community based alternative to staying in detention centres which has been trialed for the past 18 months. He believes it has proven to be a more effective and humane approach. He goes on to say, “It better supports the psychological wellbeing of vulnerable asylum seekers and helps them make more reasonable decisions about their options”.

The detention centres are necessary as far as I am concerned. We cannot have people coming here and living in the community while their stories are being checked out…and how does one really check out the validity of a claim when these people arrive with no papers?

The complaints about the accommodation get me. They get a place to sleep, food to eat, medical services, legal services, mobile phone credit amongst other things. They have air conditioning to cope with the stifling heat. Yes there is razor wire, regular protests, people self-harming, suicidal people and a range of psychological problems. Surely these people are better off being there with the appropriate treatments they might need, rather than being put out into the community thus putting other people at risk of having a psychotic person roaming around the streets.

Mr. Aristotle believes we do not have to detain everyone while their visa applications are being processed.

Yes the trade of people smuggling is disgusting…taking advantage of vulnerable people. But if they have no other way of getting to a safe place, surely there has to be some paper work to prove even an iota of their circumstances.

So do we as a Nation need to lighten the controls or tighten the controls? ….given the current climate of suicide bombings and attacks in several parts of the world, I believe we need to tighten them. Make sure that people come here legitimately…with papers and are able to contribute and be a part of this society. I also believe that there should be no intake of warring factions…it is proved time and again, that these wars continue on here…with street gangs attacking other gangs just like they would back in their own homelands. We cannot afford to be having even larger populations of muslims. Am I being a racist here???? Not by any means. I am however being an islamophobe. A Muslimophobe. I have friends who are from Africa…Eritrea, and Kenya. These people are Christians, always have been. They know what it is like to live amongst muslims as they faced the hatred on a daily basis and the way they were being harassed to convert and take muslim names etc.…they also know what it is like to lose loved ones to beatings and killings due to their faith. They are of the Pentecostal doctrine. I do not belong to any denomination and my friends accept this, as they also know that I am just a CHRIST Person…. A Christian who knows that Jesus is my Saviour and that He is the only way to GOD.

Australia has been accepting and accommodating to many different cultures over the years, and the muslims are the only ones who come here, take all and give nothing but their hatred. I will say here that there have been a few exceptions, but I have no intention of naming them, suffice to say that there are some. By the same token, these people have the business and the money and are beholding to no-one. But when push comes to shove, which way are they going to stand….with us or against us? If they are truly muslim and follow their Koran then there is only one answer to that….and it ain’t with us, that’s for sure. So my mistrust stays. The more I learn about the koran and the ways of the muslim then the more I get sickened by it. In the words of one of the commentors at JW…. BAN MUSLIM IMMIGRATION. Bring in Christians of any denomination, I am sure there are plenty of them around the world who are being persecuted for just being a Christian. Their lives are in peril. They will at least be willing to join in with our communities and will most likely be valuable assets, willing to work and not bludge off the welfare systems.

So Mr. Aristotle can plead for the asylum seekers, but as long as he pleads the case for muslims then he will never get my support. Not to worry, he has plenty of bleeding-hearts and do-gooders out there that will take these refugees into their homes and financially support them and drain other charities dry in their support. I have stopped donating money to any organisations except for Heart research and the like. I was once a good supporter of Charities that helped the disadvantaged, but there is so much help out there, and if the govt, wants to put all the tax dollars into this instead of giving single, disability and aged pensioners a miserable $30 a week pension rise, then I think they ought to get their priorities straight. I live below the poverty line, but at least I am grateful for what I do get. And yes I once upon a time paid my taxes.

No comments:

Post a Comment