As Rudd takes over in Australia, the looming issue is what to do with the boat people

Update July 8th:  Immigration policy will be what the next election in Australia will hinge on, here at the Herald Sun:

Asylum seeker policy is set to be a major battleground of the election as both the Government and the Coalition promise tougher action.

Thousands of mostly Muslim boat people have been arriving on Australian shores and roiling the political landscape there for years. 

This boat packed with Sri Lankans arrived in Australia in April, and many of those on board were promptly flown back to Sri Lanka. Photo: ABC

Note to readers:  forget it if you think you can escape to Australia!*

Looks like they too have lost control of their borders!

This NYT article is from last Wednesday, in advance of a meeting that was planned in Indonesia on the boat people crisis.  I don’t know how that turned out.

From the New York Times:

 Mr. [Kevin] Rudd, who last week replaced the struggling Julia Gillard as prime minister amid record low poll numbers for their governing Labor Party, is facing a hotly contested election currently set for September. No issue looms as large over his chances of retaining power as slowing the record number of rickety boats attempting the perilous crossing between the two countries. 

Thousands of asylum seekers fly into Indonesia every year, where they pay smugglers to ferry them in often unsafe, overcrowded vessels to Christmas Island, a remote Australian territory in the Indian Ocean that is its nearest point to Indonesia. Iranian and Afghan asylum seekers, together with Sri Lankans who often sail directly to Christmas Island without transiting in Indonesia, make up the majority of such asylum claims. Accidents at sea have killed more than 600 people since late 2009, and finding a long-term solution has eluded successive Australian governments going back more than a decade to John Howard, the conservative former prime minister.

Experts say recent statements from senior Australian ministers and advisers to Mr. Rudd signal a push to get tough on asylum seekers ahead of the elections as a means of insulating the Labor Party against claims that it has lost control of the country’s borders.

By the way, in 2010 we had a report that the US State Department, in a perversion of international refugee law, was taking some of the Sri Lankans who arrived illegally in Australia to Oakland, CA for resettlement.  The Malta doctrine!

Not refugees!  Economic migrants!  (this statement must be making the heathen rage):

 Foreign Minister Bob Carr of Australia, speaking by telephone from Brunei late Tuesday, placed regional security concerns and asylum seekers at the top of the agenda for the summit meeting. He repeated his recent claim that nearly all those now seeking asylum in Australia by boat are economic migrants and thus not entitled to refugee status under the U.N. Refugee Convention, to which Australia is a signatory.

And, get this, once a citizen of Iran gets out of Iran, no country can deport them back to Iran!  That sure is one way to spread Islamic colonizers throughout the world!  (Don’t forget to read about Al Hijra—the Islamic doctrine of immigration!)

He singled out Iran, which is feeling the bite of U.N. sanctions aimed at getting it to abandon its nuclear program and does not accept the repatriation of its citizens, as a major source of such migrants. He said Australia would be discussing ways to dissuade citizens of that country in particular from attempting the crossing.

About the photo:  Here is the story at Radio Australia.  By the way, although not Muslims, western countries are concerned that the Sri Lankan migrants are connected to the Tamil Tigers  faction which pioneered the use of the suicide belt to make its political point.

*For ambitious readers, we have 100 previous posts on Australia, click here.

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