Category Archives: Refugees, Immigration

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Peter Dutton says doctors can’t e trusted.

Kerryn Phelps is not just a doctor: according to Scott Morrison, Peter Dutton and their Murdoch mouthpieces, she is a shaker of worlds. Her bill – or rather her amendments to the government’s own bill — to allow doctors rather … Continue reading

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KEVIN BAIN. Refugees going nowhere – can nothing be done?

In their November 2015 Foreign Affairs article and subsequent book “Refuge – Transforming a Broken Refugee System” (reviewed here), economist Paul Collier and refugee academic Alexander Betts put forward a radical re-think of the refugee support system on the grounds … Continue reading

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KERRY MURPHY. Interdicting refugees not protecting refugees

In the first Four Corners program of 2019 [1], Sophie McNeil reported on the major hurdles placed in the way of Saudi women getting to Australia to make a refugee claim.  McNeil interviewed not just Rahaf Mohammed, who was quickly … Continue reading

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JAMES MASSOLA. The Australian priest helping trapped refugees the world ignores. (SMH 3/2/2019)

Mick Kelly remembers the phone call from his friend in Pakistan as if it was yesterday. “He asked me to help out this one guy who was fleeing Pakistan, and on his way to Bangkok. That was more than five … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. Is the Government walking both sides of the street on immigration?

Scott Morrison has announced (see here) a commitment to ‘create’ 1.25 million jobs over the next five years, beating Tony Abbott’s commitment in 2013 to create 1 million jobs over five years. But to achieve 1.25 million jobs over five … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. Is The Australian making excuses for incompetent immigration administration?

Nick Cater writing in The Australian (see here if you can get past the Paywall) seems to think people trying to manipulate the visa system is news. Has he been as asleep to this while our intrepid government has allowed … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI: Government Continues to Pretend We Have No Air Borders

In an echo of Donald Trump, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Immigration Minister David Coleman continued to pretend yesterday we only have sea borders and we can ignore our air borders. They announced closure of two detention centres (see here) … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. The Best of 2018: Privatising visa processing – the alarm bells are ringing (Part 1)

Major ICT transformation projects conducted ‘in partnership’ with a big IT company are high risk. Privatisation of core government functions such as visa processing are also high risk, especially when undertaken under the cloak of commercial-in-confidence type secrecy. Doing the … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. The Best of 2018: Privatising visa processing – the alarm bells are ringing (Part 2)

Major ICT transformation projects conducted ‘in partnership’ with a big IT company are high risk. Privatisation of core government functions such as visa processing are also high risk, especially when undertaken under the cloak of commercial-in-confidence type secrecy. Doing the … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. The Best of 2018: How the 2017-18 migration program was delivered.

The report on the 2017-18 migration program has now been publicly released, more than two and a half months after an exclusive to The Australian newspaper and a short time after the Home Affairs department appeared before Senate estimates. As … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. What were the drivers of Net Overseas Migration in 2017-18?

Net Overseas Migration (NOM) in 2017-18 fell to 236,733, down from 262,490 in 2016-17. The decline is not as large as might have been expected given cuts to the migration and humanitarian programs and policy changes to employer sponsored temporary … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. The Best of 2018: Scott Morrison’s Record on Immigration.

While Scott Morrison earlier this year publicly disagreed with Tony Abbott on immigration levels, he eventually gave way to Dutton’s ruse about ‘greater scrutiny’ leading to the migration program ‘ceiling’ not being delivered in 2017-18. Will he continue to compromise … Continue reading

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STEPHANIE DOWRICK. Glad tidings of great welcome

Among the most affecting, timeless stories known to us is that of a heavily pregnant, very young Jewish woman, barely more than a girl, making her way towards a town called Bethlehem, in an area of the Middle East then … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The Best of 2018: Scott Morrison did not stop the boats.

With the appointment of Scott Morrison as Prime Minister we will witness again the repetition of the myth that the Coalition and Operation Sovereign Borders stopped the boats. They did not.  I expect that many in the media will also … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. The Best of 2018: Dutton Sets New Asylum Seeker Application Record.

Why did 50,000 asylum seekers arriving by boat represent a crisis for our border sovereignty while the arrival of a similar number over the past two and a half years by plane is just ho hum? Peter Dutton in 2017-18 … Continue reading

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BRAD CHILCOTT. Refugees and the ALP Conference.

On Monday night, late in the evening after Labor’s national conference had debated asylum seeker and refugee policy, I sat at a bar with a mix of refugee advocates, conference delegates like myself, people seeking asylum and refugees. 

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IAN McAULEY.  Reminder to Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison: Australia is a parliamentary democracy

On the last sitting day of Parliament, the Government took extraordinary measures to block a vote on a bill to ease the medical evacuation of asylum-seekers on Manus Island and Nauru. The Government’s terror of losing a vote on the … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Fake news, spin and media complicity on border protection and boat arrivals.

In his desperate political situation, Scott Morrison last week became even more shrill in telling us ‘Bill Shorten is a clear and present threat to Australian security … and I’ll fight them [the ALP] using whatever tools or tactics I … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI: Is Minister Coleman Unwinding Dutton’s Sub-class 457 Changes

Poor David Coleman. Business and employer groups, particularly in regional Australia, have been pillorying him for the ham-fisted changes to employer-sponsored temporary and permanent migration implemented by his predecessor Peter Dutton. Contrary to the traditional approach of past Liberal Party … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. A way out of the politicking on refugees- A repost from 20 August 2018

We can be proud of what we have done for refugees in the past but like many others I am ashamed that we have now had a succession of ‘leaders’ who have appealed to our most selfish instincts. When I … Continue reading

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STEPHANIE DOWRICK. Facts flung overboard on refugee health – and our nation’s.

Thursday 6 December was the final sitting day of the Australian Parliament for 2018 and one of only 10 sitting days between now and next May when an election is expected. It was a day to get things moving. Yet … Continue reading

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MICHAEL KELLY SJ The biggest con in any current debate in Australian public life

In a highly contested event, one political con over the last decade stands out as the greatest bipartisan piece of deception in any enduring debate: the obfuscation employed in the public arguments over asylum seeker arrivals in Australia.

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ABUL RIZVI. Dutton Sets New Asylum Seeker Application Record

Why did 50,000 asylum seekers arriving by boat represent a crisis for our border sovereignty while the arrival of a similar number over the past two and a half years by plane is just ho hum? Peter Dutton in 2017-18 … Continue reading

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Irony: Record number of asylum seekers arrive on Dutton’s watch (The New Daily, 09.12.18)

For all the government’s tough-on-asylum-seekers rhetoric, protection visa applications have blown out to record numbers on Peter Dutton’s watch.

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ABUL RIZVI. Dutton Sets New Asylum Seeker Application Record

Why did 50,000 asylum seekers arriving by boat represent a crisis for our border sovereignty while the arrival of a similar number over the past two and a half years by plane is just ho hum? Peter Dutton in 2017-18 … Continue reading

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WANNING SUN AND HAIQING YU. Mandarin-speaking voters in Victoria: WeChat, new influencers and some lessons for politicians.

The state election in Victoria saw a dramatic swing to Labor in areas with a high concentration of Chinese-speaking migrants.  Mount Waverley saw a 6.4% swing to Labor and Box Hill 7.7%.  As participant observers in WeChat discussions, we offer … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI: Is our Visa Processing System in Crisis?

A fundamental aspect of a well operating immigration system is one that encourages people to apply for the right visa and follow intended visa pathways after arrival rather than use visitor visas to by-pass applying for the right visa. Visitor … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. Morrison says ‘enough’ to a problem largely of his making.

Scott Morrison says ‘enough’ to the level of migration to Sydney and Melbourne (see here). Yet he fails to mention that it was his actions that brought about the surge in migration to Sydney and Melbourne in the first place. … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. An Agricultural Visa Would Change Australian Society – for the Worse

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has, for the time being, rejected creation of an agricultural visa in favour of changes to the existing working holiday maker program and the seasonal worker visa (see here). These are unlikely to satisfy demands of … Continue reading

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MRIDULA AMIN, ISABELLA KWAI. The Nauru Experience: Zero-Tolerance Immigration and Suicidal Children.

A recent visit to Nauru revealed the effects of Australia’s offshore detention policy and its impact on mental health. This article was published by The New York Times on the 5th of November 2018. 

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