Category Archives: Refugees, Immigration

FRANCESCA BEDDIE. The Golden Country, Australia’s Changing Identity.

I follow migration matters closely, so Tim Watt’s survey of the White Australia Policy and subsequent immigration policy was familiar territory. For those who don’t, there is much to recommend in the story he tells and his demonstration of the … Continue reading

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MAX COSTELLO. Who’s right about Medevac airlifts to Australia – the doctors or Peter Dutton?

The government’s traditional scare campaign having failed to work – because Medevac transfers have not re-started the ‘people smuggler’ boats – a very frustrated Home Affairs Minister Dutton is running a new ‘repeal Medevac’ line: he says the Medevac law … Continue reading

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CAVAN HOGUE: Why is Mr Dutton afraid of Australian children?

The Australian women and children facing danger in Syria are not being brought home because it can’t be done or because they would be a threat to Australia but because of cheap domestic politics. As H.L. Mencken observed: “The whole … Continue reading

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BRUCE DUNCAN. Mr Morrison, please do not abandon innocent Aussie children in Syria.

How will the Morrison government respond to the desperate plight of some 65 women and children detained in a camp in Syria? Relatives are pleading with our government to bring their family members safely home, but it appears immobilised by … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Refugees, Immigration | 5 Comments

ABUL RIZVI: Prime Minister fudges regional migration figures

In a speech at the Migration and Settlement awards (23 October 2019), Prime Minister Scott Morrison crowed about the number of regional migration visas issued in the first quarter of 2019-20. Now Immigration Minister Coleman has announced the target will … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI. Pezzullo in Denial

At Senate Estimates this week, Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo denied the record number of (largely non-genuine) asylum applications under his watch is a crisis. This is like the black knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail insisting losing his arms … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. ‘It’s no crime to be a refugee’.

Review of Kavita Puri, Partition Voices: Untold British Stories (London: Bloomsbury, 2019), 297 pp. This is an important, interesting and elegantly written book. ‘It is no crime to be a refugee’, says one of the persons interviewed for the book. … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, International Affairs, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

ABUL RIZVI. Current surge in asylum seekers is not normal for Australia

Writing in The Conversation, Regina Jefferies and Daniel Ghezelbash argue the current surge in onshore asylum applications is not ‘unprecedented’ because tourists or students often lodge claims for asylum due to circumstances beyond their control. They give the example of … Continue reading

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IAN MACPHEE. Manus Island

As a defence lawyer in criminal cases in New South Wales and Papua New Guinea I saw many prisons, including on Manus Island. Most had a harsh reality that one might expect in jails for convicted criminals. Yet I will … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Refugees, Immigration | 6 Comments

BRET STEPHENS. Blessed Are the Refugees (The New York Times 13-9-19)

Under Donald Trump, America is ceasing to be the last best hope.

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ABUL RIZVI: Morrison’s Mixed Messages on Migration

A string of immigration related articles in The Australian on 5 September 2019 and on 7 September 2019 again dutifully conveyed the Government’s mixed messages on immigration policy without asking a single question about the inherent inconsistencies and loss of … Continue reading

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PETER HUGHES. The Sri Lankan family – just a case of bloody mindedness

We await further operation of Federal Court processes before the future of the Sri Lankan family being held on Christmas Island is finally known. In the meantime, it’s worth reflecting on why the government has chosen to take such a … Continue reading

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REBECCA TAN. How a conservative town in Australia set aside politics to rally for a family facing deportation (The Washington Post, 5 Sep. 2019)

Biloela, population 6,000, is a rural town in northeast Australia. When the town’s first — and only — set of traffic lights was built 10 years ago, residents were sent into a tizzy. Many families still work in coal mines … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. The continuing litany of lies on boat arrivals and border protection.

I am sorry if I keep repeating what I have been saying for four years but when will we finally accept that we have been consistently conned and lied to about boat arrivals and border protection for a long time. … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 11 Comments

ABUL RIZVI: Dysfunction in Home Affairs officially confirmed

The dysfunction in the Home Affairs Department that has been long reported on (see here, here, and here) has now been officially confirmed in a survey conducted by the Australian Public Service Commission.

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MAX COSTELLO. It was the best of days; it was the worst of days

July 30, 2019 was the best of days for Australia’s immigration detention centre detainees because, at last, a mainstream media outlet revealed that their cruel maltreatment involved apparent criminal offences under Australian law. It was the worst of days, because … Continue reading

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ABUL RIZVI: Government Responds to Dutton’s Visa Chaos on Asylum Seekers

The Government has at last responded to the chaos in our visa system. In response to a question from Senator Keneally, Senator Linda Reynolds has suggested the bridging visa backlog is apparently due to an unexpected surge in visa applications … Continue reading

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BOB DOUGLAS. Changing Australian Refugee Policy: What is realistically and politically feasible?

Is there a new spirit of bipartisanship developing between Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese? As well as discussing a bipartisan approach to the legislation of religious freedom and an indigenous “voice”, might they also consider a new bipartisan approach to … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 3 Comments

ABUL RIZVI: Government reveals details of its net overseas migration (NOM) forecast

The Government has at last revealed some details of its 2019 Budget forecast for a record breaking level of sustained NOM. The key is a significant increase in the net contribution from temporary visa holders. This would mean the current … Continue reading

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Thai police seize 51 Pakistani Christian asylum seekers (UCANEWS Reporter, Bangkok, 8 July 2019)

Thai authorities in Bangkok have arrested 51 Pakistani Christian asylum seekers in an incident that has reignited fears among the city’s Christian refugees of another immigration crackdown on illegal immigrants. According to eyewitnesses, immigration authorities arriving in two police vans pulled … Continue reading

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FRANK BRENNAN. Australia and the refugees who come by boat

We have now all endured our third election in a row when boat turnbacks and the punitive treatment of refugees and asylum seekers featured.  The overwhelming majority of our politicians and the overwhelming majority of voters are agreed that the … Continue reading

Posted in Refugees, Immigration | 6 Comments

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

Posted in Politics, Refugees, Immigration | 14 Comments