In our previous post earlier today we reported that Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has signed a plan with Papua New Guinea to take Australia’s boat people/illegal aliens off their hands. The next logical question is: ALL OF THEM?
Australian opposition leader, Tony Abbott, says that is where Rudd’s action becomes a political ploy to buy time until the next election. PNG can’t possibly take them all.
Abbott suggests reading the fine print in an article ominously entitled: Nations to get asylum call! My first thought was, uh-oh, since the US has already shown its willingness to take over one thousand mostly Muslim Africans who arrived on Malta (illegally) by boat, what is to stop the US State Department from ‘lending a hand’ to Rudd’s Labor party?
Here is the story in The West Australian:
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said the so-called PNG solution was a “fake”.
He said the Prime Minister’s assertion that everyone who came to Australia by boat would now be sent to PNG was not borne out by the two-page document signed by Mr Rudd and Mr O’Neill.
“This is not a solution to our problem,” Mr Abbott said. “This is not a policy to stop the boats. This is simply a pre-election fix. This is simply something that is held together with Blu-Tack and Sellotape to last until the election.
“Mr Rudd has been misleading to the point of dishonesty.”
Shadow immigration minister Scott Morrison said PNG’s Prime Minister had made it clear that the country would not take an unlimited number of asylum seekers, despite Labor claims to the contrary.
Now this makes some sense, of course PNG doesn’t want the diseased, the criminals or the terrorists!
Mr Morrison said those found not to be refugees would become Australia’s problem, as would asylum seekers with communicable diseases, terrorism charges or a criminal background.
“The devil is always in the detail with Mr Rudd, and Mr Rudd always proves to be the devil in that detail,” Mr Morrison said.
Immigration Minister Tony Burke said every cohort of asylum seekers, including unaccompanied minors, women and children, would be sent to PNG when Manus Island welfare standards were improved.
The article lists other countries which may get the call from Rudd, but no mention (so far!) of Obama getting a call!
Come to think of it, I wouldn’t put it past these pols to have a plan to send some to PNG and that’s where the US State Department would pick them up to resettle in your town.
****Update**** More on the growing controversy from the Voice of America. Nothing yet on the US giving a helping hand, but if you see it before I do, please let me know!
Update July 23: Jesuit Refugee Services blasts (no surprise) Rudd saying PNG too poor to handle all the needy refugees on the way.