22 December 2013


What does it mean to be an asylum seeker?

Who are asylum seekers and why are people called asylum seekers?

Why do people leave one country to go to another?

When do people decide they have to leave the country in which they live and hope to enter another?

Which countries do people go to in the hope of trying to gain entry and safety and security?

Where are the places where people who leave their own countries or places of permanent residence go to in relation to where they came from?

Australia and Israel have a lot in common - they are two racist societies and both call themselves democracies.

Israel's racist "democracy" is based on the country being a theocracy and those who are apparently not "Jewish" are seen as "other".

Australia's racist "democracy" is based on the colour of one's skin and one's supposed religion and country of origin. White is good, other is not good or is bad or is unacceptable.

Australia and Israel are both busy demonising asylum seekers as "other" in the sense of their behaviour, and their attempts to be similar to the "settler" population.

Both are failing and are producing tragic circumstances for people who have fled from appalling abuse and persection.

When did Australia and Australians become such an uncaring and callous society?

The following article appeared in The Age newspaper on 21 December 2013:

Scott Morrison's new rules put asylum seekers on notice to behave

December 21, 2013
Tom Allard

Tom Allard

National Affairs Editor

New rules to stop refugees being a 'nuisance'

The Coalition delivers a code of conduct for asylum seekers living on bridging visas, which Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says is to stop "anti-social and disruptive activities".
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has identified asylum seekers congregating in large numbers in apartments as the type of ''antisocial'' behaviour that could see them thrown into detention under a new code of conduct for more than 20,000 irregular immigrants living in the community on bridging visas.

Under previous arrangements, anyone on a bridging visa alleged to have broken the law and facing criminal proceedings was returned to detention while the matter made its way through the courts, but the new code greatly widens the types of behaviour that can lead to the penalty.

These include ''antisocial and disruptive activities that are inconsiderate, disrespectful or threaten the peaceful enjoyment of other members of the community''.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Steven Siewert

''There have been complaints that have been received about antisocial behaviour in terms of overcrowding in particular accommodation that have caused a nuisance to nearby residents and distressed elderly residents as well,'' Mr Morrison said on Friday.

''Currently there's no provision to really manage that behaviour.''

People on bridging visas have extremely limited work rights and receive less than $250 a week in welfare payments. They can wait up to five years to have their refugee status determined under the ''no advantage test'' introduced by the former Labor government.

As a result, many can be crammed into accommodation to help save money, although Mr Morrison said this was not necessarily the type of overcrowding that would be deemed antisocial.

He pointed to ''large numbers of people turning up to particular places and places that are being rented, and that is not where they were living''.

The new code, and the example cited by Mr Morrison of antisocial behaviour, was attacked by the opposition, with Labor's immigration spokesman, Richard Marles, saying ''it reeks of being mean for the sake of it''.

''If people are breaking the law, there should be consequences,'' Mr Marles said.

''But one of the key standards in Australia is the standard of fairness.

''A situation where you don't break the law but you have simply upset someone and, without being tested, a person is put in detention or even sent off shore is concerning. That is not fair.''

Disobeying road rules, failing to comply with an instruction to undertake health treatment, or refusing to co-operate with officials as they review their refugee claims are also deemed to be breaches of the code.

Mr Morrison confirmed that asylum seekers on bridging visas could be sent back to detention without breaking the law, but he said it would require serial breaches.

''I think it is quite helpful to be quite specific with people who are given the opportunity to live in the community what is expected of them. To assume they just know is naive,'' he said.

He noted that in serious cases, asylum seekers in the community could be sent to Nauru and Manus Island.

Mr Morrison said the government wasn't contending that asylum seekers on bridging visas were more likely to commit crimes than the rest of the community but he pointed out that since the election, ''two illegal maritime arrivals have been charged with criminal offences each week''.

These include charges and convictions relating to murder, theft, indecent assault of a minor, assault with a weapon, driving under the influence, attempting to procure drugs, and people-smuggling.

Meanwhile, Mr Morrison said he didn't ''backflip'' when reversing his freeze on new protection visas for asylum seekers, arguing the regulation was no longer necessary because he has since introduced stronger rules.

But legal experts and the Greens say Mr Morrison is engaged in legal ''trickery'' and his new regulation would either be struck down by the High Court or reversed when the Senate reconvenes in February.


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90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm