A problem everywhere?
From the Courier Mail (Brisbane):
DODGY* claims involving fake religious beliefs, sham marriages and lies about sexuality are adding to a logjam of cases in immigration and refugee tribunals, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.
Desperate foreign citizens who arrive by plane are launching a barrage of appeals after Immigration officials reject their claims and seek to send them home.
The Refugee Review Tribunal – which handles only plane arrivals – had a 31 per cent jump in appeals last year while the Migration Review Tribunal, which deals with student and partner visas, had a 24 per cent increase.
More than 13,000 appeals to the two tribunals in the one year overwhelmed resources.
Readers, asylum seekers are basically illegal aliens (or visa overstays) who enter a country on their own steam and then ask for asylum. In the US, once their asylum status has been approved, they get basically the same goodies as a refugee who has been approved and screened abroad and flown here at taxpayer expense. (Well, they will tell you that the refugees must repay airfare, but you can be sure many impoverished people unable to find work are not going to have their airfare loan at the top of the list).
And, by the way, here is a post I wrote in January 2011 about how it appears that US NGOs may now be helping would-be asylum seekers get into the US. When the Refugee Act of 1980 was signed into law by Jimmy Carter it was expected that asylum claims would be a tiny number and reserved for the odd ballet dancer seeking asylum from a repressive home country. Now it is approaching the refugee program itself in the sheer number of claimants.
The US receives the most asylum claims. Here is a report from the UN for the first half of 2011. Asylum claims rising rapidly:
By country, the United States had more claims (36,400) than any other industrialized nation, followed by France with (26,100), Germany (20,100), Sweden (12,600) and the United Kingdom (12,200). The Nordic region was the only part of Europe to see a fall in asylum applications. Meanwhile, in north-east Asia applications more than doubled – 1,300 claims were lodged in Japan and South Korea compared to 600 in the first half of 2010.
* “Dodgy”—isn’t that a great word!