But, only legitimate “refugees” and only 150 per year.
I haven’t said much about Australia’s problem of illegal aliens coming by the boatload lately—mostly because it was the same old boring hunger-striking and political wrangling—but there are a couple of interesting bits of news from Down Under today.
The first is that New Zealand, that wisely takes only a whopping 750 refugees a year, is going to take some of Australia’s boat arrivals. To put that into perspective, the US in recent years has resettled on average 50,000-60,000, Canada around 7,000, Australia 6,000 and the entire European Union maybe around 5,000.
This business of taking some of the so-called “refugees” from Muslim countries or regions of the world arriving illegally on another country’s shores is a relatively new thing. According to international law, legitimate refugees are supposed to ask for asylum in the first safe country in which they arrive—they aren’t supposed to be on a shopping expedition (think Malta!). Nor, is the country under siege supposed to be pawning them off on other countries.
Here is the latest from Australia (ABC News). Critics in New Zealand say this will ultimately lead to boats arriving there as well.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has struck a deal that will see New Zealand resettle 150 refugees from Australia’s system each year.
Ms Gillard and her New Zealand counterpart announced the deal after holding leaders talks in Queenstown.
Ms Gillard says the deal could affect asylum seekers currently being held in processing centres on Manus Island and Nauru.
“The aim here is to have it start in 2014 and be ongoing,” she said.
“The 150 could be drawn from people who are in Australia now and we would want to work with PNG and Nauru so it is possible that some of the 150 could come from who are processed on PNG and Nauru.”
Mr Key says New Zealand will not increase its overall intake of asylum seekers from its present level of 750 a year, but that number will now include those from Australia.
“Australia is grappling with the huge challenge of illegal arrivals by sea and is at the forefront of the efforts to disrupt people smuggling across the region,” Mr Key said. [So how is people smuggling going to stop if those arriving illegally are granted asylum?—ed]
“As part of our support for a regional approach, New Zealand will resettle 150 genuine refugees annually from the Australian system … as part of the 750 refugees that we annually take.
“So it’s not an increase in the number of refugees New Zealand takes but a different sourcing of the location of those refugees.”
He says taking refugees from Australia makes sense and will not encourage asylum seekers to get on boats bound for New Zealand.
Mr Key has previously said he believes it is inevitable that New Zealand will be facing similar policy quandaries to Australia.
“It’s my view a boat will turn up in New Zealand, I think it’s a matter of time,” he said earlier this week.
The opposition: border security first! (LOL! where have I heard that before?)
But Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison is not convinced.
“What this arrangement has the risk of doing is putting a bit of Kiwi sugar on the table for people smugglers,” he said.
“What we should have been talking about is how New Zealand and Australia can be working together, through the Bali process, to beef up natural deterrents.”
He says the talks should have focused on things like improved training of immigration and customs officers, better border protection technology and regional border patrols.
Meanwhile Muslim refugee wife murdered by refugee hubby for becoming too Australian
So much for assimilating. From the Daily Telegraph:
AN Afghan refugee who strangled his wife with her scarf in a fit of rage because she wanted a divorce has been jailed for 20 years.
Soltan Azizi, 48, has twice been found guilty by Victorian Supreme Court juries of brutally beating and strangling 33-year-old Marzieh Rahimi in their Hampton Park home in November 2007.
Justice Stephen Kaye said Azizi’s account was totally unconvincing.
He said the couple’s relationship had been hostile and strained and that Azizi had killed his wife in an uncontrollable fit of rage during an argument about her rights.
The court heard Azizi had told Marzieh’s sister that she had changed religion and become Australian.
Justice Kaye said Azizi and Marzieh came to Australia as refugees in 2005. [The honor killing happened in 2007–only two years after being granted refugee status—and no one saw this coming?—ed]