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Refugees and Immigration

Submitted by Marilyn Shepherd on August 24, 2008 - 11:38pm.
Unaccompanied children in detention - Part 2
Acknowledging such realities does not fit with the [Howard] government’s consistent practice of demonising asylum seekers, which now extends to children. If the parents of the Afghan boys have heard of the UN Convention on the rights of the child, they certainly could invoke it in an attempt to be reunited with their children. (Mike Steketee)
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Submitted by Marilyn Shepherd on August 18, 2008 - 12:01am.
Unaccompanied minors
It’s an irony that Australian law provides for mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse by professionals – and mandatory locking up of child asylum seekers. We call both these practices government policy. One protects, the other destroys. (Jacquie Everitt)
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Submitted by Marilyn Shepherd on August 10, 2008 - 7:03pm.
Mustafa
It’s unconscionable that a country could and did do this thing to a child, any child. In discussion with the group I feel we should be able to try harder to find his family, a desire he expressed to me at the interview.  As much as he loves his new family, he’s only 10 and has been alone for nearly 3 years. 
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Submitted by Marilyn Shepherd on July 29, 2008 - 8:05pm.
Restoring integrity to Australia’s immigration system
In the future the immigration system will be characterised by strong border security, firm deterrence of unauthorised arrivals, effective and robust immigration processes and respect for the rule of law and the humanity of those seeking migration outcomes. (Senator Chris Evans)
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on June 22, 2008 - 2:21pm.
Human rights and climate change
Whilst there is now plenty of discussion about the responses that governments should be making to address the predicted consequences of climate change, the focus seems to have been largely on the economic, trade and security issues. The social and human rights implications rarely rate a mention. (The Hon. John von Doussa)
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Submitted by Marilyn Shepherd on June 4, 2008 - 1:33am.
Hope and loss - a sad Iraqi connection
This story is impossibly sad - Amal died of breast cancer in Australia after surviving Saddam Hussein, the water, Indonesia for months and years of anxiety. She did not survive Australia.
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Submitted by Melody Kemp on April 17, 2008 - 3:51pm.
Lest we forget
It seems our ex Prime Miniature is now a cult hero amongst born again Aryans. Readers of Webdiary may be interested to see some of the interchange. ADDED: It should be noted that there is no evidence that ex-Prime Minister Howard actually said any of these things attributed to him, and some are clearly extracted from other sources.
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Submitted by John Pratt on April 4, 2008 - 7:11pm.
Does Australia need a population policy?
Australia is rapidly increasing its population through immigration, yet there is little debate as to what is a sustainable population would be. It is high time we decided just what is the optimum population level for Australia.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on December 19, 2007 - 12:38pm.
Is it reactionary to oppose immigration?
The question that needs to be posed today [about immigration] is not the conventional one, is it Left or is it Right? But rather, do we accept that there are Limits, or do we continue to persist in the fantasy that this country, and others, is a massive treasure trove of boundless resources waiting to be unlocked by an endless number of people who can exploit them without ecological consequences?
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Submitted by Jack H Smit on December 9, 2007 - 11:35am.
Double-barrelled shot marks start for Chris Evans
Just three days after many people started contacting new immigration minister Chris Evans to raise the issue of the swathe of refugees holed up on Nauru, he declared his hand.
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Submitted by PF Journey on December 6, 2007 - 5:31pm.
Two Wongs do make it right: A new Asian Odyssey for Australia
To the average punters in Asia, the perception of Australia has been coloured, if you excuse the pun, by the White Australian Policy (THE WAP) and its remnants. The contemporary Australia might have a hot economical engagement with the Asian region, but politically and socially, there are still nagging questions being asked about Australia. First, has Australia completely jettisoned the WAP? or it is still lurking just beneath the surface. Second, is Australia an Asian country? or a Western country? or an Eurasian country? or none of the above? Sometimes, I think we don’t know the answer to this question ourselves.
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on August 23, 2007 - 6:56pm.
Andrews’ Character Test Not About Character
The Federal Court’s decision that the Australian Government can not cancel a person’s visa on the basis of an innocent association should be the end of the matter, according to the Law Council.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on August 14, 2007 - 8:01pm.
Susan Kiefel, High Court judge
Susan Kiefel's appointment as a High Court judge is great for Australia, and one decision of Ruddock I not only applaud, but do so with gusto. Maybe after all his terrible deeds over the last decade he wants to leave something special in place as his career nears its end. I'm reminded of Paul Keating's appointment of Michael Kirby to the High Court just before he lost office. I met Justice Kiefel in the early 1980's in Brisbane, when she was a junior barrister and I was an articled clerk briefing her on a case. She told me then that Tony Fitzgerald had personally mentored her when she worked as a secretary in his chambers, convincing her that she talented enough to finish year 12 and take the bar exam.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on July 27, 2007 - 4:38pm.
DPP Bugg's mea culpa, Andrews stands his ground
I also acknowledge that one of my officers put two errors of fact before the court.  The first related to the SIM card and was based on a misunderstanding of the facts.  The second related to the residence of Dr Haneef in the UK and was based on incorrect material provided by the AFP.  The prosecution is of course under a duty to inform the court promptly of any errors that are made in submissions to the court.  The hearing in which these errors were made was determined in Dr Haneef’s favour and when the errors were recognised it was decided to correct them when the matter was next before the court.
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Submitted by Marilyn Shepherd on July 26, 2007 - 5:33pm.
Indefinite detention, sometimes illegal, still all the rage from DIMIA turned DIAC
When Vivian Alvarez was found in the Philipines the information of this 33 was already public, so Amanda Vanstone launched an inquiry into the possible illegal detentions of other Australians, or worse other deportations.   247 cases were then sent to the Ombudsman. The most chilling case was the case of LP, an Australian citizen child incarcerated for 149 days as “a visitor to his mother”. Just a guest of the minister in a regime of brutal detention that was utterly illegal. No-one bothered to ascertain if the reality was that the child was a citizen.
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Submitted by Richard Tonkin on July 23, 2007 - 10:39am.
Reality TV wagging the dog
The trouble is that if there is no "Australian connection" the "terror scares" in Glasgow and London then the story being used to provide public support for the incredible amount of security that Sydney is about to endure will have much less credibility with the public.  The intense APEC security is more likely to be regarded with suspicion.
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Submitted by David Davis on July 18, 2007 - 3:43pm.
David Davis on the transcript of AFP-Haneef interview
I don't know what the story is with Haneef. The courts will decide that. The first transcript does not reveal very much. Maybe when it is added to other evidence a clearer picture will emerge.It could be that Haneef just has "too much going on" and has an unfortunate link in a database. Thank God for the courts! If he is as the Federal Police allege, then thank God for the Federal Police for keeping us safe.
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Submitted by Margo Kingston on July 16, 2007 - 7:30pm.
Heil Andrews! Why didn't Howard do the job?
So, Australia now officially has its own Guantanamo Bay. And Howard didn't do the honours, but left it to poor old Andrews. Why? Doesn't think people believe him any more? Flying a kite to see what happens? So what did Howard do today, apart from order Andrews to detain Haneef.  APEC, that's what. Can anyone feel another terror scare coming up?
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Submitted by Guest Contributor on November 1, 2006 - 3:11pm.
Who Matters? How Many?

"Our reputation as a successful multicultural society is now threatened. ... The new security laws diminish the rights of all Australians. I do not know of any other democracy that has legislated for the secret detention of people the authorities know to be innocent.": Malcolm Fraser
Text updated to transcript of speech as delivered

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Submitted by Raja Ratnam on October 27, 2006 - 12:28am.
Successful migrant settlement

"Whilst UN conventions require Australia to treat all its residents equally, it is surely incumbent upon new arrivals to conform to the nation’s institutions, mores and values.":Raja Ratnam

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Submitted by Raja Ratnam on October 15, 2006 - 12:20pm.
What is this citizenship kerfuffle about?

"There’s a kerfuffle going on about the grant of citizenship and Australian values. What is it all about?": Raja Ratnam

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Submitted by Stephen Smith on August 14, 2006 - 12:58pm.
The migration bill – edge of the human rights precipice

"The migration bill before Parliament presents us with a litmus test; it gauges our commitment to what we discuss here as the human rights of ‘the other’ that is inseparable from the rights of the child." Stephen Smith
[UPDATE: The withdrawal of the bill doesn't reduce the importance of Stephen's arguments of principle ...]

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Submitted by Guest Contributor on August 9, 2006 - 7:24pm.
Georgiou and Moylan on offshore processing

"The Migration Amendment (Designated Unauthorised Arrivals) Bill is the most profoundly disturbing piece of legislation I have encountered since becoming a member of parliament.": Petro Georgiou
"Mr Speaker this legislation ... is not a matter between conscience and patriotism. For surely each one is worthless without the other and ethical principles should inform them both.": Judy Moylan

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Submitted by Branko Milanovic on July 20, 2006 - 9:00am.
Globalization's Assassin

"Is today’s globalizing era coming to an end? If so, it may not necessarily end with a repeat of the slaughters of the last century, but with an economic retrenchment that brings economic stagnation and consigns billions of people to grinding poverty. Various candidates have been proposed for the role of globalization’s assassin. But one little noticed, yet likely, aspirant has been sneaking up on the world economy: the growing tendency to limit the free circulation of people, to 'fence in' the rich world.": Branko Milanovic

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Submitted by Daemon Singer on April 20, 2006 - 12:05pm.
The Intrinsic Value of Humanity

"Do we add value to our lives as a Nation and as individuals by not making our shores a safe refuge from the repression of Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Burma and any other country with a mind to manage its Nationals by the gun? Do we improve our status in the eyes of the rest of the world (except the gun-toting country these PEOPLE are running and hiding from), by rejecting out of hand, the upturned face of a frightened child, running to escape his own countries guns?" Daemon Singer

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Submitted by Jack H Smit on April 19, 2006 - 6:50am.
Howard's latest trick: Australia banishes all boat people ....

A scandalous and brutal Bill has been proposed by the Howard government to block all access to Australia of all asylum seekers arriving by boat, both for processing their claims and for settlement if these claims prove true. We need a dozen Liberal and National MP's in Parliament to become confident enough to Cross the Floor and block this legislation; and we need two Senators to Cross the Floor and block the passage of this Bill - no matter how its amendments try to obfuscate the sneakiness of its contents.

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Submitted by Jack H Smit on April 5, 2006 - 5:23pm.
The Dutch: a compact people storage problem

"About ten months ago I wrote an article about the Dutch and the way they store away their "outprocessed" asylum seekers, published both on the Project SafeCom website and in the New Matilda magazine - a practice so nasty that it almost beats putting them far and far away in hot and arid desert 'refugee jails' like Baxter and Woomera. This week the Dutch PM Jan Pieter Balkenende is visiting Australia, and ABC's Lateline is grabbing him for an interview tonight. I've asked Lateline to ask Balkenende some questions about the West Papua situation and about the asylum barges." Jack Smit

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Submitted by Darryl Mason on April 5, 2006 - 12:18pm.
More trouble for Howard and Downer as more Papuans arrive

"One argument made in favour of the West Papuans is a simple one, although it may not be a 100% correct: How can Australia send its soldiers to the other side of the world to free Iraqis from a brutal regime when West Papuans, so close to Australia, suffer still in their cry for freedom?" Darryl Mason

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Submitted by Sue Hoffman on March 1, 2006 - 2:20pm.
Howards children overboard lies revisited

"John Howard’s recent comments concerning the asylum seeker boat SIEV 4 that was central to the ‘children overboard’ senate inquiry are disappointing but not surprising. Falsely accused of throwing their children overboard, he maintains the boat passengers don’t deserve an apology as "they irresponsibly sank the damn boat, which put their children in the water", which is as untrue as the allegation that they threw their kids into the water. He has conveniently forgotten to mention that ADF personnel were under orders to override safety of life at sea conventions by delaying rescue until passengers of asylum seeker boats were in the water, rather than when it became apparent the boat was going to sink." Sue Hoffman

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Submitted by Kaye Bernard on January 25, 2006 - 7:47am.
Kids dumped under guard offshore

"The recent transfer to Christmas Island of a group of 43 West Papuan asylum seekers is a giant leap backwards for the Prime Minister." Kaye Bernard

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