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    shepherdmarilyn

    I find it astonishing in Australia that we still have the same two extremist positions that Peter Mares told of in his book Borderline way back in 2001.

    Asylum seekers who are usually accepted as refugees but have no papers are automatically jailed without right to appeal and they can stay thus for years on end still.

    While they are fed and clothed they are jailed without charge, something Gillard told us they are escaping from when she made the idiotic East Timor “solution”.

    Those who fly here are usually deemed not to be refugees because they could get papers to leave their own countries.

    Yet we jail those who are refugees because they have no papers even though not having those papers has not been an offence in Australia since 1992.

    We are talking about a mere 6,000 or so people per annum while another 5 million tourists arrive, 500,000 foreign students and 180,000 permanent migrants along with tens of thousands of temporary workers.

    It is only the 6,000 or so we waste exorbitant amounts of money tormenting when they are the ones we should be spending money on supporting properly.

    It’s as disgusting now as it has always been because we are a heartless, useless place who use the so-call humanitarian hoax as being legal and in line with the refugee convention when it is no such thing.

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    sharleenabramley

    This is an issue that manages to constantly make my blood boil.

    Australia’s actions surrounding asylum seekers and refugees just continue to make the nation seem uneducated, ignorant, naïve, and heartless.

    Many countries and states have almost collapsed; with civil and political tension, religious and racial tension – and all kinds of warfare imaginable. This of course has lead to a massive increase in refugee numbers. The unrest in most of these places is well known, so shouldn’t Australia and the rest of the world been prepared?

    As for the common term ‘queue jumping’, frankly it is just a term coined by the media, and by politicians to portray their own views on the matter. In many of the countries refugees flee from, there is no queue to speak of. Many of those who seek refuge simply do not have time to go through a long application process. With some ‘cases’ taking as long as 10 years to process, sometimes even longer; many would not live to see the end. Some of these asylum seekers have had their entire families murdered, have their own life on the balance; and have experienced torture and other forms of great trauma. They shouldn’t have to stay a second longer in those conditions, especially when countries have promised to look after those in fear of their own lives.

    Politicians are just about as ignorant as the majority, and help fuel the stigma and beliefs that surround asylum seekers. This can be seen in the recent election; with Abbott’s famous promise to “stop the boats”. This was plastered on election posters, repeated through robot like speech on TV, and spoken about at every occasion possible. The priority should not be to stop the boats; but to help to create better processing methods, or methods of entry, so that those who finally reach safety after all their trauma are not subjected to the horrible conditions of detention centres.

    Politicians like Abbott, attempt to strike fear into the people. And the way they talk about the ‘boats’, you would think that a full-fledged military invasion of Australia was in progress. But we are not talking about naval ships, with guns; but about tiny boats, that people have resorted to using, as they have no other options left. Other politicians, like Gillard just sit back and ponder what to do, with no overtly obvious moral conscience surrounding the issue.

    What is Australia trying to prove with this version of an electric fence?

    What does keeping asylum seekers in detention centres achieve? It is just a way of allowing them to suffer more, when they should be helped. Many of these people have been through terribly traumatic experiences the best of us couldn’t deal with; since when has it been alright to turn your back on those who are legitimately reaching out for help.

    Many asylum seekers also have significant health problems and psychological needs when they arrive in the country, and others develop health problems within detention centres. This just makes it even harder for them to become a part of the community when they are finally released from their prison.

    Many of those who are lucky enough to not end up in a detention centre are not given the rights to allow them to be a part of the community.

    But of course people whine, and say they are draining taxpayers of hard earned money.

    Not all of us want to “stop the boats”. Many of us believe that Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers is disgusting. Asylum seekers, require and deserve asylum, help and a chance at a new beginning and better life. They do not deserve to be locked up and stigmatized. If you think of Australia’s actions on a world scale, are you proud of what the rest of the world sees? When it comes to asylum seekers; I am not proud with the actions of the nation; in fact it embarrasses me.

    I do not want to live in a world full of the ignorant and naïve, what has Australia come to.

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