Sunday, November 15, 2009

Refugees, boat people, illegal immigrants

We like to call them "boat people" because they arrive by boats.
They are also called "refugees" but more often than not they are referred to as "asylum seekers".
Some refer to them as "illegal immigrants". Many people have arguments that pull at our heart strings and play with our sense of humanity and obligation to help these less fortunate people.
They make demands on our government and refuse to leave the ship unless these demands are made. They plead hardship and political persecution and look into the television cameras with sad eyes. In the past they have jumped overboard as a protest against customs officials. They destroy their passports so that their true identities are not revealed.

Today we realize that whatever we might call them, they are opportunists who have no regard for truth. They are willing to pay huge sums of money to people smugglers and risk everything (sometimes even their lives) for a chance to beat the system. These people, whatever we might call them are economic refugees, looking for a better life in a different country, not just any country but specifically Australia. Their demands are specific and explicit. The government in a desperate attempt to diffuse the situation makes promises of expedited processing for legitimate refugees.
What result? 30 of sum total of 50 agree to return to their home country.
A further six who took part in a protest while in a detention centre are also sent back to Sri Lanka. 12 have been granted protection visas. 2 are still being processed.
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Jeannie said...

We get the odd boatload here too - but most only think of Canada as a route to the States.

Lexcen said...

Canada? Too far or too cold?

Anonymous said...

Illegal immigration is a HUGE problem in Texas. Nobody talks about it until election time rolls around. It's taking a huge toll on our state. We are dumbing down everything to accomodate (public schools, medicine..).

There's also the victim mentality that's crippling generations to come.

Lexcen said...

Jen, at least they're not called refugees.