Time to Stop the People Smugglers

The usual suspects are outraged at the ‘immoral’ determination of Tony Abbott and the Coalition to stop the pernicious trade by people smugglers. Naturally, the most vocal critics of the morality of Coalition policy are those whose policies are directly responsible for 14,800 illegal arrivals since 2008 and the deaths of an estimated 600 people.

The most sanctimonious and hypocritical has to be the Greens’ Sarah Hanson-Young whose rhetoric and clamour for the media spotlight have regularly set new lows in party politics.

She has previously accused Qantas of being “Australia’s biggest people smuggling effort” for bothering to fly people with valid visas and passports to Australia; while simultaneously scathing of any efforts to stop the pull factors attracting the veritable armada of illegal boats carrying people with no identification to this country.

Yet, when asked to be accountable for her own party’s policies, she refuses to be dragged into “nastiness and politicking”, dismissing questions about the December drowning deaths of at least 95 potential illegal arrivals by simply stating “Tragedies happen. Accidents happen”.

How the mainstream media allow her to get away with the duality of being a contemporary version of Pontius Pilate and Tokyo Rose beggars belief.

Despite the Greens’ manicured propaganda efforts, recent media reports have shed a great deal of light on the plight of the Afghan economic refugee.

In many cases their plan starts in Kabul with the purchase of a range of fake documents to enable them to ‘have a good story’. These documents include warning letters and death threats from the Taliban, which are promised as keys to a new life in the west.

For the princely sum (even by Australian standards) of $11,500, a one way trip to Australia is then arranged. This begins with a flight to Malaysia, a quick trip across Indonesia’s porous borders and ultimately, a leaky boat to Australia.

Incredibly, somewhere along this route any legitimate travel and identification documents are lost, leaving little chance of confirming the identity or history of some of the new arrivals.

The advice to the would-be new Australian colonisers is to “have a good story”.

Of the Australian authorities, the experienced hands strategically advise “they will know you are lying, but as long as you say the same thing whatever they ask you, you will be fine.”

The entire process is disheartening to anyone who believes our welcoming nation and accepting nature are being taken advantage of. It is also an insult to the hard-working men and women who ultimately bear the cost of supporting these wealthy Afghans.

Surveys show that 85 per cent of accepted refugees live on Centrelink benefits for the first five years. They often receive priority services, some of which are not readily available to Australian citizens who are currently doing it tough.

Something has to be done to stop this obscene rort that one can only surmise is endorsed by some of our elected political representatives. Their refusal to re-enact legislation that has previously stopped the boats, stopped the deaths and stopped the abuse of our humanitarian program is an indictment on all of those involved.

Of course, we should maintain our very generous humanitarian refugee intake but in the enduring words of former Prime Minister John Howard, “we will determine who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come”.

To do anything less is to sell out Australia’s national interest.

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