Here’s a true story:
A friend of mine (a 70+ year-old grandmother – whom I’ll call Mary) corresponded for a while with an asylum seeker (whom I’ll refer to as Dishi) and was finally permitted to visit him in a detention centre – after she had ‘been approved’, and her identity proven.
Mary arrived at the detention centre in her small car and, after consulting with officials, she met Dishi, the young man she had come to see; discovering a friendly, warm and intelligent young man who was still able to smile despite his predicament.
Mary inquired of detention centre staff if she could take Dishi out for a short drive. The answer was ‘No’ but if she allows a (later) more extensive ‘interview’ where officials can verify Mary’s identity further and check her credentials, she may be allowed (one day) to take Dishi out of the detention centre for a short drive BUT she (they) must also take a detention centre officer with them.
If Mary’s interviewer is not perfectly satisfied with her motives and character, but almost satisfied, she will be allowed to take Dishi out, BUT will have to include TWO officers on the drive.
(Mary drives a small car).
This poor man, Dishi, who came to Australia FIVE YEARS AGO is a genuine refugee who has done nothing wrong. He was fleeing chaos and hoping to find a job in Australia to enable him to subsequently bring his parents here to live safely. So far, Dishi has lived (half-lived) in HUTS, behind wire, in detention centres on Christmas Island and in three different states in mainland Australia.
The processing of Dishi's refugee application - and of so many other asylum seekers - does not seem to be happening.
How much is the housing (HOUSING? they’re not houses!), feeding and transporting of these poor people costing the government?
I may be naïve, but surely it would be more economical to resolve how to effectively process applications and sort out the (so called) non-genuine from the genuine refugees and put a stop to what in my mind is the torturing of our fellow human beings.
Asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat are neither engaging in illegal activity, nor are they immigrants
The UN Refugee Convention (to which Australia is a signatory) recognises that refugees have a right to enter a country for the purposes of seeking asylum, regardless of how they arrive or whether they hold valid travel or identity documents.
I choose to comment on social issues and write creatively on a variety of subjects - for a variety of audiences.