Asylum Seekers

Offshore detention cost taxpayers $5bn in four years – and asylum seekers remain in limbo

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Vigils to mark anniversary of Kevin Rudd’s banning of asylum seekers who arrive by boat from ever settling in… Ben Doherty  The Guardian Four years since the then prime minister, Kevin Rudd, announced that “any asylum seeker who arrives in Australia by boat will have no chance of being settled in Australia”, offshore detention has cost Australian taxpayers almost $5bn and the future of those held on… On 19 July 2013, Rudd announced all boat-borne asylum seekers would be subject ... Read More »

UN seeks $421 million for African refugee flow

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MILAN:The United Nations’ refugee agency is appealing for $421.2 million to help improve protection of refugees in sub-Saharan and North Africa and back efforts in… AP ArabNews The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said Tuesday the plan, which incorporates previous appeals, is needed “to help provide meaningful alternatives to refugees and others undertaking… It says 2,171 refugees and migrants were reported dead or missing as they tried to cross the central Mediterranean in this… UN seeks $421… Read More »

France reveals reform plan on migrants, refugees

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Draft laws aim to cut application times, find more accommodation for asylum seekers, quickly remove failed candidates Hajer M’tiri AA French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe unveiled on Wednesday draft legislation to cut asylum-application times from over a year to six months. Since last year, France has seen a 40 percent increase in the number of asylum applications, according to government figures. The Action Plan on Immigration and… France reveals reform… Read More »

The time has come for a new international migration system

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If unaddressed, the current flow of refugees and migrants from Africa and Asia headed toward Europe might well turn into a major uncontrolled population movement for which Western governments will only… Alexander Casella  Asia Times And the consequences in Europe where immigration has become a domestic political issue are liable to be far… Historically refugee movements were essentially regional and did not overflow their… The time has… Read More »

Border Force illegally sent two Australian citizens to Christmas Island

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New Zealand-born men released when error was realised in episode reminiscent of Cornelia Rau and Vivian Solon cases Ben Doherty The Guardian Australian Border Force illegally detained two Australian citizens and sent them to Christmas Island in an episode reminiscent of the Cornelia Rau and Vivian Solon cases of more than a decade ago. Guardian Australia understands the two men are New Zealand-born but hold dual Australian… Border Force illegally… Read More »

‘I’m doing something good’: From construction worker to people smuggler

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Omar* is a husband and father of four. He used to work in construction, but these days he’s a people smuggler. The Age * Under the cover of darkness, he and his small band of fellow smugglers guide their Syrian customers along paths through the mountains where they sit and wait for precisely the… “Theoretically, it’s wrong to have a job like this, and illegal. But from a practical… ‘I’m doing something… Read More »

Indonesian boy wrongfully jailed in WA adult prison for people smuggling has conviction overturned

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Ali Jasmin was 13 when detained by Australian authorities for cooking on a boat carrying asylum… Australian Associated Press The Guardian A young Indonesian man who served time in a Western Australian adult prison for people smuggling despite being a child at the time has had his conviction… Ali Jasmin, also known as Ali Yasmin, was a crew member on a boat transporting 55 Afghan asylum seekers and was aged 14 in December 2010 when he was sentenced as an ... Read More »

We’re quick to label refugees as either ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but they’re all entitled to protection

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A refugee I met last year in Canada has been charged with beating his wife. The ensuing coverage has encapsulated the extremes of the immigration debate. Amos Roberts  The Guardian Man who beat wife said he didn’t know it was against the law,” read the headline. Underneath, a photo of a man I knew very well – a man I’d once sympathised with. A distinctive underbite, thick salt and pepper hair, olive skin. I read on, with mounting… We’re quick ... Read More »

A tougher language test would punish women like my mother, who have lost everything

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My mother studied Australian history and politics for months to pass the citizenship test. It was painful, to say the least Abdul Karim Hekmat The Guardian It’s easy for an English-speaking, white politician to legislate a language test for Australian citizenship that even someone born in Australia would find hard to pass. The biggest impact would be on migrants or refugees – my mother, for example. Khal Bibi Hekmat never… A tougher language… Read More »

Malcolm Fraser’s widow Tamie condemns Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s treatment of refugees in Australia

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Tamie Fraser AO, refugee advocate and wife of the late former Prime Minister Malcolm, has used World Refugee Day to criticise the current Liberal government’s stance on… ABC – Jon Faine “Last year I didn’t talk about this because there was an election coming up, but I can’t look at it any longer and say it’s OK. It’s not ok to treat refugees as they’re being treated in Australia at this… Mrs Fraser, who affectionately described herself on… Malcolm Fraser’s ... Read More »

Iranian asylum seeker Mojgan Shamsalipoor faces deportation after visa denied

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Lawyers for Brisbane woman – whose campaign was supported by ministers and fellow former pupils – say decision will ‘rip her away’ from her… Naaman Zhou The Guardian Iranian asylum seeker Mojgan Shamsalipoor has been given six months to leave Australia despite a long-running national campaign for immigration minister Peter Dutton to intervene and… The former Yeronga state high school student had her application for a… Iranian asylum seeker… Read More »

Record 65 million people displaced in 2016: UN

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Report released ahead of World Refugee Day shows a jump of 300,000 people uprooted over the past year. Al Jazeera and news agencies A record 65.6 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced from their homes due to conflict or persecution by the end of 2016, the United Nations said. The record number includes 22.5 million refugees, 40.3 million internally displaced people and… Record 65 million… Read More »

Patriot shame: new citizens deserve respect, not contempt

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Peter Dutton has introduced the citizenship bill. It’s supposed to infer loyalty to Australia but in reality means we can all be mates as long as we’re the same. Tasneem Chopra  The Guardian Βlend in or butt out. Speak up, but stop being confronting. Come forward, but only so far. By perpetually redefining the parameters of what it means to be Australian, the new citizen ideal has morphed into a farce. And now, there’s no coding of intentions; it’s clear ... Read More »

Government to pay damages to 1,905 Manus Island detainees in class action

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Detainees claimed physical and mental injuries in settlement believed to be worth tens of millions of dollars Ben Doherty The Guardian The Australian government has settled a class action with more than 1,900 Manus Island detainees and will pay damages believed to be in excess of… Lawyers for the detainees told the Victorian supreme court in Melbourne on Wednesday that they have reached a settlement with the Australian government and the operators of the… Government to pay… Read More »

Refugee-turned-lawyer helps others in Australia ahead of deportation deadline

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Hundreds of Israeli commandos are headed to Cyprus as the two countries prepare to start a large-scale, week-long military drill Sunday. Jacqueline Breen ABC Ahmad Dostizada was 10 years old when his father left Afghanistan and travelled by boat to Australia to seek asylum for the family. After months in detention and years on a temporary protection visa, his father was recognised as a refugee, winning the right to bring his wife and… Refugee-turned-lawyer… Read More »

Australian government’s citizenship test moves political, not practical

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No better than the old police gag: And when did you stop beating your wife, Sir? Editorial The Age There is consensus across the political spectrum that immigration has been a boon for this country. Australia is often, and rightly, held up as one of the most successful multicultural communities. We have long derived huge social and economic benefits from diversity. So the recent posturing, and… Australian government’s citizenship… Read More »