So why on earth would someone spend 18 months on a leaky boat? Why would "asylum seekers" travel through numerous countries with a similar culture, or religious belief, to cross water to a country that is 60% desert and full of infidels.
Wouldn't have anything to do with the benefits of living in a Western society now, would it?
I've mentioned in the past about one of our specific benficiaries. My figures were only hypothetical based upon the figures available at the time.
Let's face it, here in Oz, there is a lot of largesse to go around.
Especially if you are a refugee, or seen to be a refugee. Of course, the definition of what a refugee is seems to be a bit fuzzy, but you get that with self-perpetuating bureaucracies.
For example, I always thought an asylum seeker was the same as a refugee, but apparently not:
As outlined above, refugees are victims of persecution who have been recognised as fitting the definition of a refugee contained in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, to which Australia is a signatory. Click here for more details.
For some of the world's refugee population it is either impractical or impossible to go first to a neighbouring country and then to seek resettlement from there. This could be because the neighbouring countries are not signatories to the international laws that would ensure their protection in these countries (few countries in this region, for instance, are signatories to the Refugee Convention). It could also be because they would not be safe in a neighbouring country, in particular if that country was sympathetic to the persecutory regime. In these cases, individuals may choose to try to go directly to a country, such as Australia, where they can seek protection.
Such people are called asylum seekers. Those who come to Australia have usually entered with a visitors', student or other temporary visa. Some arrive with no documents or with false documents.
Arriving without appropriate papers should not be interpreted as an attempt to defraud the system. By definition, refugees are people who are at risk of persecution. In most cases, the agent of persecution is their government. Applying for a passport and/or an exit visa can be far too dangerous for some refugees; so too can be an approach to an Australian Embassy for a visa. These actions can put their lives, and those of their families, at risk. In such cases refugees may have to travel on forged documents or bypass regular migration channels and arrive without papers.[emphasis added]
So let me get this straight... some refugees can't seek assistance in a neighbouring country so have to move a few countries across and go for asylum, yes?
This means to flee Afghanistan, a person has to travel (if we're going by land) through: Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia before boarding a rickety skiff to hopefully reach mainland Australia.
That's a lot of countries with islamic cultures, when you consider that people tend to prefer their own culture.
So what is it about Oz that's so damned attractive?
Lack of waiting periods?
Lots of free services, paid for by the taxpayers to make you feel at home?
Groups to help with housing, employment, and legal issues.
There are a lot of services available for free, and a lot of ways to get an income if you land in this country and are accepted as a refugee, or asylum seeker or whatever you choose to call yourself.
The money is enough to live on, especially when you count in all the concessions. There's a reason that the concession card from Centrelink is fondly known as a Gold Card, adn when you've got plenty of people falling over themselves in order to feel like they're doing good in the world, it's got to be a nice space to be in.
I guess the obligatory disclaimer is required here, so I hereby declare that I am well aware that not every refugee or asylum seeker is trying to pull a shifty. There are some, however, and they give the genuine ones a bad name. Especially when they are happy to spend time waiting in hotels before loading their leaky boat in Indonesia.
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