Someone asked me what I thought about the new refugee laws, and this was my response (the original thing I’m responding to doesn’t need to be posted here to understand my response):
Ok, I do not buy all of that.
I am however appalled by Rudd’s move here.
He has acted illegally. For all the talk of ‘illegal arrives’ it is NOT illegal to seek asylum under ANY circumstances, and it IS illegal to discriminate against asylum seekers on the basis of their arrival (i.e. boats). We are now the ones breaking the law. I cannot fathom why we signed up to the international refugee convention if we’re just going to ignore it!
This new law won’t really hurt the people smugglers’ trade, even though that is the aim. The people sending the boats usually don’t care what happens to them once they leave the shore. They’ve got their money, end of story. People who are fleeing for their lives may not be aware of our laws before they get on a boat to come here, they might just believe what they are told by people who want their money.
This is an actual quote from a people smuggler today in Indonesia:
“We have already made our money, it won’t affect us, it will affect asylum seekers.”
We are simply punishing the desperate and vulnerable.
The ‘asylum seeker refugee centre’ posted this today:
PNG with 51% of its people living on less than $2 a day. 61% with no access to clean water. GDP 134th & life expectancy 168th in the world, can take refugees, but Australia can’t.
Why we think sending people to a nation like this is a good idea, I’ll never understand. We are selfish, greedy morons.
People smugglers are usually taking advantage of the desperate, so we punish the desperate. Sounds like a bad system to me. Also, some of them (people smugglers) are actually trying to help desperate people flee. Others are simply being disgustingly opportunistic. However, they will always have a trade whilst there are things to flee from. I’m not saying we ought be be encouraging people to get on boats, not at all. It is not compassionate to allow people to get on unseaworthy vessels and die at sea. That is utterly tragic. The main issue is what people are fleeing from.
These new laws don’t actually stop people coming by boat. The new law is about people who come by boat without a visa. If you are fleeing from a country that doesn’t want you to leave, they won’t give you a visa or even identification papers! There is no way to enter Australia legally in that sense. People will always keep coming until there is nothing left to flee from. We ought to be working with the countries of origin to make them safer places, and failing that, providing asylum for those who need to flee. If people are in need and in danger, the human (and biblical) response ought to be to help!
And in regards to the PNG corruption allegations, yup, that’s a reality. Passing on money to them to process people already at risk is already a terrible, terrible thing. We cannot guarantee our money will be used well there.
It is also illegal to be homosexual in PNG, so what about those people?! What will happen to them?!
Jesus said we will be judged by how we treat the orphan, the widow and the stranger. I’m afraid of how he will judge us.