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Thursday, October 31, 2013

What's in a Name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"

The political debate between the left and right regarding asylum seekers has always been a vexed one; with each side making claims on compassion and having the moral high ground. While I do not know what the right solution is for this issue, I am feeling more and more that the LNP argument of being more compassionate as they are "stopping" asylum seekers from drowning does not stand.

The position of the LNP has always been that the asylum seekers who come here by boat are taking the place of the asylum seekers who followed the proper process and "joined the queue" for resettlement by the UN.  Here the LNP are talking about asylum seekers that applied with the UN for resettlement and were deemed eligible for resettlement by the UN.  However, the governments
 own document states that there is no orderly queue and that there is no obligation to be registered with the UNHCR prior to arrival in Australia.

If LNP was so concerned with only wanting asylum seekers already registered, why not resettle those who exist in Indonesia?  The number is
 only 1180.  These registered refugees are saying that they are "being driven" to board boats out of sheer frustration with the resettlement process.

LNP also agues that it is more compassionate to grant asylum to people who do not have the money to fly to Indonesia and then get into a boat to come to Australia.  However, they chose not to match Labor's election promise of lifting the number of asylum seekers resettled into Australia from
 13750 to 20000 even for the people who they agree deserve more compassion.

The saddest irony of all came after the elections when the Minister for Immigration, Scott Morrison stated that his department call asylum seekers illegals.  The chief executive of the Asylum Seeker resource centre, Kon Karapanagiotidis said that the instruction from Mr Morrison is dehumanising for the asylum seekers. It is not correct to call asylum seekers illegals, as Article 14 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that seeking asylum is a human right.

The language being used by the LNP regarding asylum seekers is them trying to justify the treatment received by the asylum seekers in detention centres, that somehow they have committed a crime by just daring to come here.

Considering most asylum seekers do end up being refugees and being accepted into Australia means calling them illegals does not take away from their true identity of asylum seeker.

Taking Asylum Seeker Issue to the Streets

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