Now we have a break from the fashion towards law. Here are my opinions on the asylum seeker situation in Australia, which I am submitting for one of the university publications.
The asylum seeker situation in Australia is heavily debated and has caused numerous controversies both in and out of parliament.
Senator Stephen Conroy accused Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, commander of Operation Sovereign Borders, of being involved in a political cover up. The respected three star serviceman is engaged in impartial duties related to the operation, and stated that he took offence to the unwarranted remark. Although the Labor party have withdrawn the comment, no apology has been issued to General Campbell.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection stated in an answer relating to the death of an illegal immigrant on Manus Island, that the death was tragic, but no more tragic than the 1,200 deaths that occurred as a result of illegal people smuggling since the establishment of Rudd’s border policies in 2008. Furthermore, 48,000 people have arrived on illegal boats since that time, spending over 10 billion dollars of the budget.
I think one of the main errors in judgements made against the LNP about the asylum seeker situation is that an exacting border policy is mistaken for an apathetic or unsympathetic view on illegal immigrant’s personal plight. The Greens and Labor parties focus on stating how the LNP ‘don’t care’ or are ‘heartless’, instead of critiquing the policy.
The operation prioritises Australian interests, instead of shunning asylum seekers. To exhibit this, Morrison has re-introduced Temporary Protection Visas, so that illegal immigrants without valid visas may stay on humanitarian grounds. Importantly, the firm stand against illegal people smugglers is sending a message, which is crucial to saving lives by stopping the illegal boats that are often unsafe and unseaworthy.
The operation has extreme efficiency, effecting consequences of establishing presumption against refugee status where immigrants deliberately destroy their documents and identity papers. Demonstrating commitment to prevent the needless deaths that occurred during the Rudd-Gillard government, the operation enforces strict penalties against the people smugglers themselves. There are thousands of reserved places given by priority for women at risk of harm.
Operation Sovereign Borders has been implemented in order to ensure safe and secure borders for all Australians. The operation has been given a military commander to ensure one person is responsible, instead of 12 different departments for accountability. It also gives a military focus and precision to ensure efficient, resourceful and professional behaviour.
The LNP’s Operation Sovereign Borders has taken numerous critiques against its efficacy and strictness, however simply viewing the figures of illegal immigrants from December clearly exhibits that Australian interests are now the government’s first priority.