These are nearly always Afghans and the scandal is that the Feds take the "asylum-seeker" claim seriously. They had asylum as soon as they reached Pakistan, where there are now millions of Afghans living. These guys are the rich ones who could afford an airline flight to Indonesia and then pay thousands of dollars to people smugglers. They are no more refugees than my big toe is. They are economic migrants sneaking in the back door. Their low levels of literacy and other skills would not normally qualify them as acceptable migrants
AN Australian navy patrol vessel has intercepted a boat carrying 98 suspected asylum-seekers off Australia's north-west coast. The vessel was initially detected about 2am (AEST) today before it was intercepted after it entered Australian waters.
Home Affairs Minister Brendan O'Connor said HMAS Glenelg, operating under the control of Border Protection Command, intercepted the vessel at 5am (AEST) north-west of Christmas Island. The group will be transferred to Christmas Island where they will undergo security, identity and health checks as well as establish their reasons for travel.
More than 1400 people have arrived on 26 unauthorised boats so far this year, with the latest arrival taking the number of boat arrivals in the past two weeks to seven.
The arrivals have sparked a political row in Canberra, where the Opposition has accused the Government of going soft on border protection.