Category Archives: Refugees, Immigration

THE LOCAL. Italy demands apology for France’s ‘hypocritical’ criticism on migrants.

Italy on Wednesday summoned the French ambassador and postponed planned finance talks, in an escalating diplomatic spat with France over the handling of a migrant crisis in the Mediterranean.

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JULIAN BURNSIDE. The legality of off-shore detention

In 2002 Australia, along with more than 80 other nations, acceded to the Rome statute by which the International Criminal Court was created.  The court is the first permanent court ever established with jurisdiction to try war crimes, crimes against … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 4 Comments

SPENCER ZIFCAK. Are Thousands of Asylum Seekers in Australia About to be Thrown off Income Support?

About two months ago, Peter Dutton’s Department of Home Affairs took a decision that will have momentous consequences. In an initiative, given no publicity, the Minister decided that the substantial majority of asylum seekers awaiting the determination of their applications … Continue reading

Posted in Economy, Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

FRANK BRENNAN. Close the camps now and stop the posturing.

Both the Turnbull government and the Shorten opposition are committed to ‘stopping the boats’. Tony Abbott’s mantra is now the political orthodoxy on both sides of the political aisle in Canberra. Labor knows it has no chance of winning an … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 5 Comments

JOCELYN CHEY. Caught in the middle: Chinese Australians feel unwanted

International disputes between contending powers frequently result in persecution of local ethnic minorities.  Look at how local German and Japanese communities were treated during the two World Wars, for instance, or how people of Middle Eastern background have been profiled … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Refugees, Immigration | 5 Comments

HENRY SHERRELL. A snapshot of temporary migrants in Australia

A budding public conversation is underway about Australia’s population. Perhaps to help inform this conversation, the Department of Home Affairs has released a new data product documenting the number of migrants in Australia who hold a temporary visa.

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SPENCER ZIFCAK. Need an urgent medical transfer from Nauru? Forget it.

The former Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF), Roman Quaedvlieg, made a remarkable admission last week. It occurred in an exchange on Twitter with a former senior medical officer who had worked with refugees on Nauru. In a tweet, … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

MUNGO MacCALLUM. Girt by Sea – Australia, the refugees and the politics of fear.

Some at least of the South Africans who have come here, and no doubt most of those Dutton is promoting, want to emigrate to get away from blacks.  

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

ROBERT MANNE. How we came to be so cruel to asylum seekers.

This is an edited extract of a talk delivered to the Integrity 20 Conference at Griffith University on October 25, 2016 If you had been told 30 years ago that Australia would create the least asylum seeker friendly institutional arrangements … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 9 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The Coalition and media myth about stopping the boats.

With the appointment of Angus Campbell as the new Chief of the General Staff we have witnessed again the repetition of the nonsense that the Coalition and Operation Sovereign Borders stopped the boats. As if the media farce over a … Continue reading

Posted in Defence/Security, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

ABUL RIZVI. Is Bob Birrell Right on Australia’s Skilled Migration Program?

Australia has tentatively begun a debate about immigration – both the size of the annual intake and whether the country is choosing the right migrants. It’s a vital debate, but one that is open to misunderstanding, to producing more heat … Continue reading

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BRAD CHILCOTT. Do you expect a return on your compassion?

In 2014, two Vietnamese high school students were suddenly taken from my local community and put into a detention facility. They’d received a letter from the Department of Immigration stating that their presence in the community ‘was no longer in … Continue reading

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JOHN AUSTEN. Immigration and infrastructure.

While immigration – and a big Australia – is presented as the cause of infrastructure woe the real culprit is policy failure: deficient planning, bad structural arrangements and absence of road congestion pricing.  

Posted in Infrastructure, Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

SPENCER ZIFCAK. Government Policies globally and the Torture of Refugees

Nils Melzer is the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment. Recently, he presented a damning report to the UN Human Rights Council on the subjection of refugees across the world to torture. Melzer’s fundamental contention … Continue reading

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CHANDRA ROULSTON. Before most of us had made our morning coffee, they were gone.

I come from a country town in central Queensland called Biloela. A town where you can leave work to pick up the kids from school and it takes five minutes because we have one traffic light.  A place where the … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE   The impotent and the pure!

In the Batman bi election the Greens have correctly directed criticism at the cruel policies of the ALP and the Coalition on refugees in Manus and Nauru.But the Greens do not have clean hands either.  

Posted in Environment and climate, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 11 Comments

PETER DRYSDALE AND JOHN DENTON. Australia must move beyond Cold War thinking

Searching for evidence of ‘Chinese influence’ in Australia? Look no further than the census. Around 1.2 million people declared themselves of Chinese heritage. About 600,000 were born in mainland China. And while recent coverage of alleged Chinese ‘influence’ in Australian … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

RAMESH THAKUR. Australia’s curious neglect of citizens of Asian origin

Last year, I commented on the puzzling neglect of Asian-Australians in the country’s public life, in particular Parliament. Published in Pearls and Irritations on 3 October, the article seemed to resonate among many readers and generated more messages in response … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 2 Comments

HENRY SHERRELL. Assessing the effect of recent 457 visa policy changes

On 18 April 2017, the Turnbull Government announced the abolition and replacement of the 457 visa program. A number of new visa eligibility criteria were introduced immediately, and formal abolition will follow on 1 March 2018, when the 457 visa … Continue reading

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JOHN TULLOH. Israel’s Manus/Nauru solution – Rwanda.

     How incongruous that a country born of the worst genocide in history should want to deport asylum-seekers seeking shelter to a nation synonymous with another genocide. That is the intention of Israel – send their unwanted visitors to Rwanda. … Continue reading

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FRANCESCA BEDDIE. What do we mean by Australia Day?

All the talk about Australia Day – what it symbolises, for whom and when we should celebrate – prompted me to delve into the history of the date, which has long been contentious. Before we lock in the date, we … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

GRAHAM FREUDENBERG. Ode to Australia Day.

Ode to Australia Day (In tribute to the late John Hirst and his masterpieces Freedom on the Fatal Shore) The heroes of famed Waterloo Or great Nelson’s mighty crew, If chance had gone a different way, Might well have peopled … Continue reading

Posted in Indigenous affairs, Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. Australia Day – a progress report.

The Australia of today is vastly different to the Australia of my childhood with its widespread racism and sectarianism. It was socially suffocating. For those changes I am very grateful. There is a lot that we can be proud of. … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 8 Comments

JOHN MENADUE. The ongoing spin that Tony Abbott and the Coalition stopped the boats.- A REPOST from August 3 2017

Peter Hughes and I posted two blogs in September 2015 (‘Slogans versus facts on boat arrivals’ Part 1 and Part 2) that pointed out first, that Tony Abbott kept the door open for tens of thousands of boat arrivals by … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 4 Comments

MICHAEL KELLY. Canada shows us how it is done.-A REPOST from July 5 2017

The Refugee Council of Australia’s call for more affordable and community based ways of settling refugees is only the latest attempt to bring both community good will to refugees and the implementation of a proven and superior alternative to government … Continue reading

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JIM COOMBS. The Economics of Stop The Boats : A sense of Proportion.

Why throw away money on preventing refugees when we should see the economic benefit they might bring ?  

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 4 Comments

LINDSAY MURDOCH and KATE GERAGHTY. A REPOST-The little girl in the pretty dress.

In Pearls and Irritations we have posted reports of ghastly experiences of the Rohingya people fleeing genocide, rape, starvation and displacement.  Lindsay Murdoch and Kate Geraghty of the Fairfax Press, who have visited the camps in Bangladesh, have prepared a … Continue reading

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Pope Francis, on Christmas Eve, says faith demands respect of immigrants.

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis strongly defended immigrants at his Christmas Eve Mass on Sunday, comparing them to Mary and Joseph finding no place to stay in Bethlehem and saying faith demands that foreigners be welcomed.    

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Hunger and disease haunt Rohingya refugees

‘Sometimes we borrow from neighbors or we starve’  

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KERRY MURPHY. Retaining a cruel and punitive policy towards asylum seekers.

Recently re-elected deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce warned the New Zealand Prime Minister to back off on her offer to help resettle refugees from Manus Island and Nauru in New Zealand.  His statement seemed to hint at a warning that … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration, Uncategorized | 2 Comments