I believe the Manus Island refugees should be allowed to live in Australia 42



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So our two main political parties maintain that the asylum seekers on the soon to be closed detention centre on Manus Island should remain in detention or be resettled somewhere else other than Australia. This is despite that at least 400 of these people have been assessed as genuine refugees. Having refugee status indicates that these people have left their country of origin due to persecution and or their lives being in danger.

The people smugglers have ceased their trade in human cargo and with the same deterrents and towing the boats back policy, there is now no need to maintain these asylum seekers in detention. These human beings are now being used as scapegoats in a politicised environment to maintain the votes of the perceived xenophobic section of the Australian population. Some of these asylum seekers have been deprived of their liberty for more than four years.

The inhumane approach to these people is not fitting of an advanced country like Australia and the continued detention of innocent people is a blight on our international standing. The only crime these people have committed is to escape from a threatening environment, in many cases in fear for their lives and to seek a better future for themselves and their families in a safer country. These human beings are being treated less than human. Denied access to their families, denied employment, denied a proper living environment. They are being denied human rights where they were fleeing from such treatment.

With the pending closure of the detention centre on Manus Island there is an opportunity for our politicians who in the main have never suffered in the way some of the refugees have, to show some compassion and indeed some common sense. It makes sense to save the million dollars spent on detaining the refugees in captivity and let them become and contribute to Australian society.

I am proud to be an Australian citizen. I am not proud of these politicians or their lack of humanity in the case of these asylum seekers.

Do you agree with Michael?

Michael Whitehead

Michael Whitehead attended uni as a mature age student in his 50s, completing multiple postgraduate degrees in health science and psychology. He has a canoe, a pushbike, a bodyboard, a tennis racquet and a fishing rod. He uses them all. Michael is now enjoying retirement after a wide range of careers, most recently as Manager of a Family Support Service.

  1. I agree with all you have said Michael, but I haven’t heard anyone come up with a better idea on how and where to house them yet. Everyone has a different idea on it, and I think most people are afraid of what the consequences would be if the rope is loosened.

    1 REPLY
    • House them in the community like us and like all the migrants and refugees settled before us ?!?

  2. I agree 100%. Australia is increasingly being looked at by other countries as a leper because of our government’s stance on refugees. I love Australia but it is becoming harder and harder to be proud of my country because of this Inhumane treatment meted out and our government’s blatant disregard for international law. Our government knows how we feel about this but just doesn’t give a damn!

    2 REPLY
    • “Australia is increasingly being looked at by other countries as a leper because of our government’s stance on refugees”
      [citation needed]

    • I am completely ashamed of our government, the lies they have spun and the freedoms they have removed to cover up their sins.

  3. Obviously Michael Whitehead is an educated man who has no sense of reality. If those on Manus Island were able to satisfy authorities, they would already be on their way,possibly to Australia. Our authorities know their job and until required documents are available then they will sit on Manus. People seem to forget that these people are queue jumpers and they had to have passports to get to Indonesia. So becoming illegal immigrants does not give them an advantage. Those without families are a different matter and I surely do not want Australia to end up like Europe and England.I suggest Mr. Whitehead that you and many more like you get all the facts before you open your mouth.Return of these people to another country of their choice would be the better option but of course that country would not have the same social security system as Australia and they might even have to work for their existence.They rely on soft touches like Mr. Whitehead.

    4 REPLY
    • My sentiments too Neil, Spot on.

      1 REPLY
      • And us -My husband & I had to prove our worth to Australia with interviews, job experiences, background checks, monetary wealth etc. to emigrate legitimately , costing us thousands of pounds from England. So why can these people be allowed to enter our country & then think they’ve arrived to the ” Land of Plenty” with a never ending link to Centrelink with cheques arriving to them on a regular basis & free Medicare benefits.
        In the 28 years we have been here we have worked hard & strived to better our lives – at 70 my husband still works, running his own building company. We pay our taxes & pay a fortune for private health insurance. How dare these people believe they should just arrive in our country & then demand free money whilst jumping the queue of legitimate people.
        Also, once here, they want to find their own religious places of worship & food shops that sell their preferences. We are also expected to agree to their wording of our ceremonies – such as Christmas & Easter- not a hope !
        Don’t like the western world? – Pay your own way back to your own country & allow us to enjoy ours.

    • I agree with your comments. They are jumping the queue and only come here because of the welfare they receive. They receive more then pensioners and old aged. Return them to their own country or find another place for them but not Australia. No more refugees. Pauline Hanson warned of this over 12 years ago and people didn’t like it.

    • Neil such an uniformed response!
      undocumented means either no passport or visa. it doesnt mean they dont have birth certificates, medical records, driving licences, educational & vocational qualifications etc … Mr Morrison soun that line when he insisted we change their name from irregular arrival to that misleading & dehumanising “I” word. There is no queue – google and you will find a ton of fact checks explaining why. They have a legal right to ask to be rescued from danger – we helped establish the conventions ensuring that after WWII but break int’l law now without blinking. Many who came with passports were illegally refouled to torturers & war … its no wonder they are often destroyed. Howard even forged paperwork to dump people in other nations.

      Right now there are many highly educated men and women in on and offshore detention. They have never been dole bludgers and do not aim to be – they long to work. I know many personally so can say there are engineers, medical professionals, mechanics, pilots, teachers, artists, professional sportsmen, master craftsmen, Pastors … one guy in Manus even handcrafts surgical instruments … please stop spouting propaganda and do some honest research. Submissions are available online from every professional medical, legal, educational and social working body in Australia … you have no excuse -the truthis in plain sight

  4. When the borders were opened in Europe the whole continent was flooded with hundreds of thousands migrants, including an estimated 2000 ISIS members. This is a conservative estimate. If we in Australia open our borders we will be flooded out of house and home by millions of refugees risking life and limb, not only of themselves, but their immediate family (wife and children) but also the rest of their family, (uncles, aunties, grandparents and so on). At present our water supply (In Victoria) is not keeping pace with our usage, and the climate is predicted to be drier in the future. Our present infrastructure is based on a small population of 23+million. Unemployment figures stand at 5.7%. Centrelink and the country is coping well with those figures. But add a couple of million unemployed refugees, who can not speak the language, need housing, food, water, unemployment benefits, medical services and more, we are getting into big trouble. The medical system is already overloaded. The country is in debt. ($ 406 billion) We can not just keep adding on to that. I guess if you are in favor of opening our borders to illegal immigrants you are opening your homes and wallets as well? How many could you house? 6? 10? How many could you feed? 6? 10? Think about it!

    3 REPLY
    • Congratulations ! Well said 🙂

    • Agree totally. Let’s learn from the overseas lessons and keep our borders closed.
      We should also forget the term ‘refugees’ and use only the term ‘illegal immigrant’.

    • goodness
      millions flooding this land!!!!
      come on … australia is not a first choice destination for one thing and less than 1 percent of our population are represented by refugees.
      Less than 1 percent of the population of europe are seeking asyllum there too.

      The crisis comes from nations too insularor selfish to work together to create safe pathways and ordered processing. Australia hasnt even stopped the boats they gave just prevented them entering our waters thus creating problems for our neighbours. We are hardly world leadership material. Not too long ago we travelled to the nations people fled from and processed refugees there. Now we fund corrupt governments, have reduced our 0.26% foreign aid donation to nribe money and randomly select people from boats so they can be set aside as political hostages in offshore camps. We are a very sad and backward nation … we should be leading the charge with our resources not squandering wealth to torture the vulnerable.

      2 REPLY
      • Hi Bev
        There were 19.5 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2014, 14.4 million under the mandate of UNHCR, around 2.9 million more than in 2013. The other 5.1 million Palestinian refugees are registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
        UNHCR:Facts and Figures on Refugees
        When we open our borders we will get a tidal wave of illegal immigrants, as I mentioned before because no one else wants them.
        I noticed you did not address my other concerns, so I guess you agreed with them?

      • The High Cost of Resettling Middle Eastern Refugees.
        Last year 12000 Syrian refugees arrived in Australia under the Abbott government’s emergency humanitarian intake, after passing stringent health and security tests and promising to support Australian values.

        Senior government officials said the 12,000-strong refugee intake is expected to cost $700 million over four years. Tony Abbott on Wednesday said the commitment would be one of the largest made to date anywhere in the world.
        Make that 120,000 and the cost…. well, I guess you get the drift.
        How many are you taking in?


  5. How right you are Neil Trapp Australia does not want or need these queue jumpers.The number of people on our welfare system needs to be lowered not expanded.A figure of 88% of these so called refugees go on welfare straight away and never get a job .They dont want to blend in or become Australian .We should be spending the money they are costing us on Pension payments and making it cheaper to get an education.If Mr Whitehead thinks they should be here put them in his home and let him support them.

    2 REPLY
    • you haven’t got a clue who or what you are talking about! There are 700 at least members of the persecuted church in Manus and Nauru alone and you think we have a right to deny them safety.
      Blend in!
      I dont want to blend into the Australia you depict and I came from England.

    • The actual figure approaches 93% rather than 88%
      ‘The Australian’; Sources say the welfare bill, based on the employment rates of current humanitarian arrivals, is expected to top A$400m over the forward estimates.
      But it can’t be said for sure how much of the money is set aside for welfare payments. It is likely that many newly arrived refugees will need welfare payments to survive in the short to mid term while they adjust to life in Australia and engage in activities such as English lessons and vocational training, which help them settle effectively.
      The Australian Institute of Family Studies did a study and found; ‘few participants (7% across all respondent types) reported having worked in the last seven days.’

  6. Approx. half of people on Manus are refugees the rest are not only allow those with refugee status to come to Oz the rest go back to where they came from

    2 REPLY
    • 100% should be sent back – otherwise these queue jumpers will continue to try to overturn our country into the one they just ran away from with their own ways in religion & warped ways of life. It has to be stopped, to protect our Australian way of life.

    • Processing on Manus is a sham
      two hours to listen, translate, write, question and assess per person

      And nobody endures 3 years locked in cages with hundreds of men in intense heat, with malaria, free running sewage, constant dysentary and medical neglect, beatings, friends blinded, killed, maimed, no contact with outside world and cut off from families when they can take $10k at any time and go home.

      Sorry – they are all refugees.

      1 REPLY
      • Manus island detention center has motel type accommodation, which is a lot better than what these people had in their own country, But the issue here is that we have the best social services in Australia compared with our neighbours.. But we accept your apology!

  7. Let them come and watch the boats start up again, with thousands more trying to get here. Look at what is happening in Europe, we don’t want the same here.
    Australia does not seem to have enough be able to look after its own pensioners and disabled veterans so how can it cope with floods of illegals who will never work. Only be interested in trying to make this country just like the one they came from.

    1 REPLY
    • Australia has more than enough to help pensioners etc – we are just too greedy and selfish

      You wont see many Iranians, Indians, africans etc dumping elderly in homes – they grow up expecting to give back to their parents not dispose of them

  8. I believe the refugees should never be resettled in this country because they are Muslim and will never integrate as long as they live.

    For all those people who think so take a look at the mess Europe is in-it is an absolute failure there.

    I would ban all Muslim immigration to Australia like Russia & Japan.

    The do gooders need to wake up to reality on this one.

    1 REPLY
  9. Michael,
    Whilst an educated man you have spent so much time on the public teet you have lost all sense of reality. These are economic refugees who have no intention to contribute to Australia. How Do I know this? after 5 years of living in Australia 85 % are still on the very generous dole (compared to the “NOTHING” they received in their non benevolent countries). hence the reason they come here!!
    Michael if you are so passionate about their dilema ride your bike to the nearest shore line, hop in your canoe and head towards either Nauru or Manu, on the way do some fishing with your fishing rod, ride your body board to the shore line and have a game of tennis with the inhabitants as friendly gesture.
    After you done all the immigration checks on those who have no identity, no passport, false names and no previous background…… you !!! , meet the costs to bring them back to live in your home, subject to them not being a risk to our country.

  10. OMG … Some people have very short memories.
    Remember the KRudd/Gillard disaster where “refugee” boats were arriving DAILY?
    Talk about misplaced “compassion”!
    Your “compassion” should be reserved for real refugees stuck in camps who can’t afford to pay people smugglers!

  11. All these do gooders wanting to let in all the supposed refugees, who obviously have enough money to pay people smugglers, make me so cranky. Well if you want them here how about they live at your house and you support them.

    1 REPLY
    • [email protected]

      Totally agree wirh Shirley. Don’t see any dogooders ears putting their hands up to give then homes jobs and benefits

  12. Not happy Michael, why not run for the Greens Party and try to change the world?
    Most, if not all of these “refugees” flew into Indonesia which is a safe haven and shares a largely common culture and, after destroying their documents, paid to get to Australia.
    I disagree with you and support the government’s policy with two exceptions:
    1. Anyone who has found safe haven should not be classed as a refugee if they voluntarily leave the safe haven
    2. The illegal arrivals need to be processed and sent back to Indonesia asap or to some other place as it is too costly to keep them in detention centres

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