Category Archives: Refugees, Immigration

LISA MARTIN. Tampa refugee taken in by New Zealand wins Fulbright scholarship (The Guardian)

‘Given the chance at a new life, we have grabbed it with both hands,’ Abbas Nazari says. 

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JANE McADAM An evidence based refugee policy agenda

Summary A successful refugee policy not only manages national borders but also protects people who need safety, and demonstrates leadership in meeting the global challenge of displacement. That’s why the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law has set out an … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI: Chaos in our Visa System Continues

New Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, Kristina Keneally and Shadow Immigration Minister have signalled they intend to hold the Government to account for the chaos in our visa system. This article updates some of the data on that chaos which … Continue reading

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MICHAEL PASCOE. Bridging visas soar by 147 per cent under Coalition (New Daily, 31.05.19)

Other than claims that people smugglers wanted Labor to win, immigration and population issues flew under the radar during the election campaign – which may have been fortunate for the government.

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ANTHONY PUN. Metamorphosis of the Immigration Department to a fatal progeny?

This article relies on the materials provided by two distinguished former Deputy Secretaries of the Immigration Department in  their building of the people’s immigration department and their disappointment  over the last two decades. As an active community advocate on immigration … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. The loss of control of our air borders and with the AAT drowning

The backlog of migration and asylum cases at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) reached a record 57,597 at end April 2019. That includes an astonishing 19,469 applications for asylum. The AAT is drowning. With the Dutton/Pezzullo engineered chaos in our … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. A Repost: The facts on boat arrivals that the media won’t face.

From September 2015, almost four years ago, Peter Hughes and I have pointed out repeatedly that Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison triggered the surge in boat arrivals from September 2011 and did not stop the boats as they claim from … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. Is the Immigration and Customs Merger an Irretrievable Disaster?

Merger of Immigration and Customs and eventual incorporation into a wider Home Affairs Department has been an extraordinary disaster, at least for the immigration side of things. Whoever wins Government will face a Herculean task to fix things up. Reinstatement … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. Partner Visas – A Lesser Known Dutton Scandal

At end June 2018, the Government had allowed a backlog of over 80,000 Partner visa applications to build up. These are overseas-born people who are married to, or intend to marry, Australian citizens or permanent residents. Rather than take steps … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Scott Morrison claims again quite wrongly that he stopped the boats. (ABC News 30.4.2019)

In the leaders’ debate in Perth, Scott Morrison said: “I fashioned a policy to deal with [boat arrivals in Australia] and we fixed it.” 

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ABUL RIZVI: Government cuts permanent migration program but forecasts net migration to rise (Part 2)

Government has cut the migration program ceiling from 190,000 to 160,000 per annum but at the same time is forecasting net migration to rise from 241,700 in 2017 to 259,600 in 2018 and 271,700 in 2019. This was after it … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The Greens– good policies and poor politics.

The Greens have correctly directed criticism at the cruel policies of the ALP and the Coalition on refugees in Manus and Nauru. They are also rightly critical of the major parties on climate change.But on  both issues the Greens have … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI: Government cuts permanent migration program but forecasts net migration to rise (Part 1)

Government has cut the migration program ceiling from 190,000 to 160,000 per annum but at the same time is forecasting net migration to rise from 241,700 in 2017 to 259,600 in 2018 and 271,700 in 2019. This was after it … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton have lost control of our borders.

Chaos in our visa system and extraordinary border control failures are being exploited by people smugglers to deliver record numbers of non-genuine asylum seekers arriving by air.  The Coalition pretends we only have sea borders and can ignore our air … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. Easter and the banality of evil. An edited repost

Our policies towards asylum seekers that are cruel,evil and immoral,depend on our first dehumanising and then demonising them. Ministers,even the Prime Minister have recently reminded us that some of them are rapists and murderers.They  infer that they are not like … Continue reading

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ELAINE PEARSON. Australian Children are Trapped in Syria and the Government Must Bring Them Home (Human Rights Watch)

An ABC Four Corners investigation has exposed the callous indifference of Australian officials over the return of Australian children held without charge in foreign camps for families of Islamic State members.

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JOHN MENADUE. Appealing to our Better Angels. A repost from 30 June 2011

In an appeal to Secessionists in his first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln appealed to ‘the better angels of our nature’. Today we lack the bi-partisan leadership on refugees that would appeal to our better angels. I have yet to hear … Continue reading

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RICHARD FLANAGAN. Have we, Australia, become a country that breeds mass murderers with our words? (The Guardian 14.4.2019)

We are better than our politicians’ dark fears.  We are not their hate. We are optimistic about a country built on openness. 

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ABUL RIZVI. New regional visas – a recipe for exploitation and destitution.

The Government’s new regional migration arrangements make it easier for potential migrants with lower skill levels and limited English to access temporary residence via low paid jobs in regional Australia. At the same time, the government is making it significantly … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI: Questions Ahead of Home Affairs Meeting That Never Happened

On 29 March 2019, I received an email stating “Secretary Pezzullo has requested that a/g Deputy Secretary, Luke Mansfield and First Assistant Secretary, Richard Johnson provide you a personal briefing.” Thinking this was the dawn of a new era of … Continue reading

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MARGARET REYNOLDS.  New opportunity for Code of  Race Ethics supported by 54% of the Australian Parliament in 1998.

Senator Penny Wong considers today’s politicians  have failed to isolate  the extremism of One Nation as effectively as in the 1990s.

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ABUL RIZVI: Migration confusion again (Part 2)

Judith Sloan writing in The Australian (We’re the big losers in this immigration numbers game) has called on the Morrison Government to do much more to drive down immigration, not just the migration program which is measured in terms of … Continue reading

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ANTHONY PUN. A response to Gareth Evan’s article on the bamboo ceiling.

Our former foreign minster, the Hon Gareth Evans, has written an excellent piece about the bamboo curtain.  His thesis is focused on institutional covert and overt discriminatory practices.  To be fair, the fault is not entirely due to discrimination but … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI: Migration confusion again (Part 1)

Judith Sloan writing in The Australian (We’re the big losers in this immigration numbers game) has called on the Morrison Government to do much more to drive down immigration, not just the migration program which is measured in terms of … Continue reading

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JUDITH BETTS. Dutton, the media and framing Lebanese migration as Fraser’s ‘mistake’

Events in Christchurch have prompted a long-overdue examination of our own tolerance of the dog whistling and hate speech our politicians and the right-wing media have engaged in for years now.  But research conducted by a colleague, Dr Mehal Krayem, … Continue reading

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GENEVIEVE LLOYD. Strong Borders and Bad Butchers

The appraisal of current political rhetoric on asylum seeker and refugee policies can be a challenging exercise. Think, for example, of the ideal of ‘strong borders’, which has come to act as a benchmark for the recognition of contemporary realities … Continue reading

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PM, stop the cynical charade on asylum-seeker boats (The Age Editorial).

Are there no bounds to the Coalition government’s cynicism, mismanagement and disregard for fiscal responsibility and human dignity when it comes to refugees and people seeking asylum?

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JOHN MENADUE. The facts on boat arrivals that the media won’t face

From September 2015, almost four years ago, Peter Hughes and I have pointed out repeatedly that Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison triggered the surge in boat arrivals from September 2011 and did not stop the boats as they claim from … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 7 Comments

ERIKA FELLER. Bridging the divide on refugee policy

Australia’s refugee policies are rarely outside the political and public discourse. This is even more so now with a Federal election looming. Everyone has an opinion. The shades are many and the starting points for any discussion are wide apart.

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MAX COSTELLO. Christmas Island, an update.

MAX COSTELLO. At his recent, expensive, tropical island media conference, the Prime Minister gave two reasons for reopening the Christmas Island detention centre. One: all the mainland centres are “full”.  Two: Christmas Island, a “hardened centre”, is needed to protect … Continue reading

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