Over the past month or so, we have seen a big shift in public opinion about people seeking asylum.
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Following the KidsOffNauru campaign spearheaded by thousands of doctors and the Australian Medical Association AMA , a vast majority of Australians now support moving children and their families off of Nauru. While the ALP have committed to keeping the offshore detention centres open , in fear of a mostly imagined backlash that could stop them from forming government next year, a new space and new actors have emerged that could stand to significantly alter border policy.
What is the difference between a refugee and a migrant? - Settlement Services International
Tinonee Pym recently highlighted in this magazine that so much of the debate around people seeking asylum is framed in terms of benevolence. The spectacular nature of the cruel torture of people seeking asylum on Nauru and Manus Island has provided an obvious impetus to reinforce this narrative of vulnerability.
The humanitarian line — that these are vulnerable people seeking safety and protection, and being treated as lesser human beings — is undoubtedly true. But it also fatally politically limited. Currently, in Australia, there are at least 20 people seeking asylum on bridging visas in extremely precarious situations. Most have been living in Australia for years.
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Thousands are being forced into homelessness and destitution as income and other support is stripped from more and more people. They are in effect being starved out, as an inducement to leave the country. People in Australia are being regularly indirectly killed by the government through the exacerbation of serious health conditions and through suicide, but this receives almost no attention from the media, or from the left.
A good proportion of these people, as the system stands, are very unlikely to succeed in their claims for asylum. Many are going through appeals: drawn-out processes that normally amount to proceeding through successive stages of rejection.
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Those rejected will be deported or forced underground. This is not an abstract question. Thousands of people seeking asylum have had their claims rejected. Sri Lankan Tamils are the most obvious case.
In September, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a Royal Commission into the quality and safety of care for older people, following numerous reports of abuse in Australian nursing homes and an Australian Broadcasting Corporation investigation into the aged care industry. Skip to main content.
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