Category Archives: Immigration

MICHAEL GARCIA BOCHENEK. EU cannot copy Australia’s offshore asylum model

Casting about for ways to manage refugee flows, some European policymakers speak of emulating Australia’s use of offshore processing centres. But Australia’s approach to asylum seekers is fiscally irresponsible, morally bankrupt, and increasingly unsustainable politically. It’s no model for Europe. … Continue reading

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BRUCE ARNOLD. The Hanson Card is unworkable rather than just very nasty

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has reportedly proposed that every Australian be required to carry a national identity card. The rationale? The card will supposedly significantly reduce fraud by non-citizens who are resident in Australia.  The proposal may be good … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Australia’s gulag of shame

As someone born after World War II who grew up in India, I have always wondered how it was possible for a highly civilized society like Germany to have been complicit through silence in the horror of the Holocaust. It … Continue reading

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CHRIS SIDOTI. 30th Anniversary of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Part 2 of 2.

Human rights work has a cost, and we need to remember the cost and the toll that it takes on the people who are doing it. Those who are paying the price need the support of those who are not … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Brexit, Trump and the Lucky Country 2 – The response of those left behind

It would be hasty to attribute the Brexit and Trump votes to a “swing to the right”, or to an ill-informed electorate. The most compelling explanations are in terms of protest votes. People’s anger of electorates has given an opening … Continue reading

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Chomsky interview on the ravages of neoliberalism.

In this interview, reported in The Wire on 31 January 2016, Noam Chomsky talks about the ravages of neoliberalism. this is a repost from 21 February 2016. 

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CHRISTINA HO. Hothoused and hyper-racialised ethnic imbalance in our selective schools.

This is a repost from November 3, 2016.  “Across Sydney students from a language background other than English (LBOTE) regularly make up 80% or 90% of enrolments in selective schools.” As families increasingly turn away from their local public schools, … Continue reading

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I am ashamed to be Australian.

I decided to become a photojournalist to help refugees tell their stories, and to show their plight.  I was stunned by the lack of compassion and the outright racism I saw in my countrymen.  I was angry as only a … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. AHRC President Gillian Triggs: a year of living dangerously. Part 2 of 3.

Asylum seekers and children in detention There are four separate issues that typically get lumped into one confusing debate: the policies on asylum seekers, boats turnback and offshore detention; and the treatment of detainees. 

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Australia’s Death by Numbers

The dead refugee had a name. But even in death Australia did not want to humanize him. For years now he had been no more than a registration number — BRF063 — under the country’s cruel refugee deterrence system known … Continue reading

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WALTER HAMILTON. Japan’s New Blood

The Australian servicemen who left behind mixed-race children during the postwar Occupation of Japan set in motion changes that are chipping away at a nation’s stubborn myth of racial homogeneity.  

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Broken men in paradise.

‘The world’s refugee crisis knows no more sinister exercise in cruelty than Australia’s island prisons.’ In this long, searing account in the New York Times, Op-ed columnist, Roger Cohen, describes what he found on a recent visit to Manus Island.

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ROBERT MANNE. Yes Virginia, there is a solution to Australia’s asylum-seeker problem.

A new chapter of humanly decent policy with regard to asylum seekers, more reflective of the many fine and generous impulses in our history of welcoming refugees, can at long last be opened.  For pity’s sake, let it be.

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HENRY SHERRELL, PETER MARES & ANNA BOUCHER. Another obstacle on the road to citizenship?

Making migrants ‘provisional’ risks Australia’s multicultural success.

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Shakespeare on refugees, strangers and inhumanity.

In a series of speeches written by Shakespeare, Thomas More makes the argument for the humane treatment of those forced to seek asylum after being expelled from their homeland. This is a repost from August 23, 2016.  

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JOHN MENADUE. Series: We can say ‘no’ to the Americans. How the Fraser Government said ‘no’ on Chile and El Salvador.

In 1982, when I was Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, the Fraser Government ignored the pressure from the US that we should not help people in South America suffering at the hands of US-supported military governments.

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FRANK BRENNAN SJ. Will the refugee deal with the US come off?

IF United States President-elect Donald Trump decides not to honour an agreement to accept refugees from Nauru and Manus Island then they should be settled permanently in Australia, Jesuit theologian and lawyer Fr Frank Brennan says.

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BOB KINNAIRD. Indian IT professionals on rock bottom 457 wages undermine Turnbull’s ‘innovation’ dream

The Coalition’s cheap labour 457 visa wage policy is destroying jobs for young Australians lured into studying IT courses under the Turnbull government’s high profile ‘Innovation’ push… Indian 457 visa IT workers are being approved at much lower rates than … Continue reading

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Aung San Suu Kyi’s government appears unable – or unwilling – to halt what some describe as ‘ethnic cleansing’.

The Rohingya in Myanmar are facing increasing attacks and harassment. Australia and the region must be prepared to respond. 

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Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration – the desperate situation of Rohingya in Myanmar.

Situation in Rakhine State in Myanmar of grave concern – the region must be on high alert. Mass displacement inevitable if violence continues to escalate.

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ANDREW MARKUS. Australians more alarmed about state of politics than impact of migration and minorities.

There is no shortage of expert commentary on current shifts in public opinion, understood as a revolt against political elites. Within Europe and the United States interpretations are supported by the British vote to leave the European Union, the increasing … Continue reading

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IAN MACPHEE. Peter Dutton has it wrong on Malcolm Fraser.

The attack by Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, on Malcolm Fraser’s refugee policies is outrageous. We have had a succession of inadequate immigration ministers in recent years but Dutton is setting the standards even lower. Yet, Turnbull recently declared him to … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Peter Dutton has got it wrong in blaming Malcolm Fraser on refugees.

  This is a slightly edited text of an interview with Elizabeth Jackson on The Saturday AM program on ABC radio on 19 November 2016-11-19 ELIZABETH JACKSON: The former head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and former … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Donald Trump – a false prophet and implications for Australia.

  Trump prides himself in being a change-agent, but he really wants to restore the past and protect privilege. He will also do a great deal of social damage. Analysis of the US election tells us that many American ‘working … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN SJ. A Welcome Deal and an Acceptable Legislative Compromise

  The Turnbull government has struck a deal with the USA which provides hope at last for the 1600 proven refugees on Manus Island and Nauru. There’s still a lot of work to be done before these refugees, including children, … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. A refugee swap with the US to end the horror of refugees in Manus and Nauru may be on the cards!

  I hope that this is so but it may not be straightforward. There is history in such a swap that journalists and others should be aware of. In its last year the Howard Government negotiated with the USA what … Continue reading

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TESSA MORRIS-SUZUKI. Trump: it’s time to go back to basics.

  The election of billionaire and reality TV host Donald Trump to the most powerful political position in the world has created global shockwaves. As countless commentators have already observed, Trump’s election is a stunning reminder of the depth of … Continue reading

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IAN MARSH. Trump’s Victory and Australian Politics

  A new anti-globalisation surge. Trump’s ascension no doubt creates new agenda challenges for Australia. But his campaign generated so many diverse and inconsistent statements that the policy landscape remains obscure. What is crystal clear is the gulf between elite … Continue reading

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ROBERT MANNE. It’s Time

  The Turnbull government has recently introduced new asylum seeker legislation into parliament. It has two parts. The first part aims to prevent any asylum seeker who tried to reach Australia after July 19 2013, including those who have been … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN SJ. Dog-whistling again on asylum seekers.

  Labor has decided not to support the Turnbull government’s latest asylum bill which was announced in a most hamfisted way on the Sunday morning before last, and which contains very unacceptable overreach measures. So now it will be a … Continue reading

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