Scott Morrison, the Australian Shadow Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, gave a keynote address at the Lowy Institute today on the Opposition’s Refugee and Asylum Seeker policy. It was essentially a talk on boat people. “Stop the Boats” seems to be the explicit policy of the Opposition and the implicit one of the Government.
I counted the words ‘boat’ and ‘boats’ used 21 times in his address, while the word ‘airplane’ or any derivative of air travel was never mentioned. I asked the Shadow Minister why he mentioned boats 21 times while air travel did not rate a mention, as there are cases of illegal entrants who come by plane. He acknowledged this and replied that the people, who come illegally by plane tend to to have valid documentation, while boat arrivals do not or destroy them en-route.
Granted, but it seems both the Government and Opposition seem obsessed with boat people while ignoring the other means and methods of illegal immigration. To most people, the image of a people smuggler is an Indonesian fisherman. But a people smuggler can be a dodgy migration lawyer or a questionable administrator of a higher education college. I refer to the recent influx of Indians under the guise of ‘students’. Some, of not many, are abusing the system just in order to get permanent residency. Is this not also a case of illegal people movement? Both sides of parliament and the people need to wake to this fact.