‘Not all seeking asylum in Australia are suitable for our communities’

Jan 22, 2019
A general view of asylum seekers and facilities at Christmas Island Detention Centre. Source: Scott Fisher/Getty Images

I recently read an article, published by Starts at 60, which outlined a need for communities to be more compassionate towards asylum seekers. I agree that we should demonstrate more compassion, especially to those who are genuinely in need and wish to meld into and become a member of Australian society.

I have been involved in what was then the department of immigration and multicultural indigenous affairs (now the Department of Home Affairs) onshore and offshore centres and have seen the goings-on. I would be quite defensive for those conducting the assessments and deplore those political and social groups that are nullifying those awaiting recognition from being able to contribute.

The writer writes about asylum seekers being those who are “fleeing their home country” and that they are judged as terrorists because they are “fleeing the horrors of terrorist behaviour” in their home country. While I understand that many of those seeking entry into Australia will not be able to provide evidence of their past, I have witnessed a number of ‘refugees’ who simply refused to do so. I am also aware of situations where refugees actively destroyed documentary evidence, which would have assisted their assessors.

I’ve witnessed some asylum seekers aggresively demanding what they perceive to be ‘entitlements’, without contributing to the health and hygiene of their living quarters. I would suggest that these people, as well as those with a criminal past, are really not suitable for acceptance into our communities.

In the past, while immigrants were provided with establishment assistance, it did need to be recovered and immigration and/or asylum costs had to be mitigated and minimised. Those coming to Australia as immigrants who accept this would at least — in my opinion — be demonstrating their commitment to our society. I also feel that those who wish to sponsor immigrants should also become responsible guarantors for those they sponsor.

Are you or is someone you know a refugee who now calls Australia home? Did you and/or your family immigrate to Australia? What brought you here?

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