Saturday, July 20, 2013

Boat people and Australia

First of all, people in PNG eat a lot of betelnuts.

Second, to Ozmac, John, and Lukas, is this a particularly divisive and publicized issue over there? Also, at what point do they get on boats? Indonesia? Vietnam?

I found some stats on current detainees here. They are from:

  • Iran (2,401 people)
  • Sri Landa (1,368)
  • Afghanistan (1,117)
  • Pakistan (477)
  • Iraq (420)
  • Vietnam (568)
  • Indonesia (279)
  • Bangladesh (170)
  • China (107)
  • Myanmar (15)
  • Other (1,599)


fnord said...

Australian here: yes, it's a hugely divisive issue in various politically important electorates, particularly in Western Sydney, somewhat less so elsewhere. Largely egged on by the Murdoch dominated press, successive Liberal and Labor governments have had to compete to show how tough they can be with the 'illegals' and 'queue jumpers', often using language borrowed from the US conservative's Mexican immigration phrasebook.

Ripituc said...

So many Iranians! I'd love to give them assylum at once.

Ozmac said...

fnord basically nailed it with his comments. Indonesia is the main departure point for boats, as it's easy to get into Indonesia. Lots of the 'boat people' fly to Indonesia, then get on a boat to Australia.

Maxichamp said...

@ozmac: Interesting that they fly to Indonesia. I assumed they had arduous, overland journeys from their homelands.

Lukas said...

What they said. Seems to also be a growing viewpoint of not criminalising / demonising these people, as they are after all refugees.

The alternative to boats is waiting years in Indonesia for the official UN process.

More info:

Maxichamp said...

@fnord @ozmac @lukas: What's the deal with the Western Sydney electorate?

Lukas said...

Western Sydney: I don't know, but everyone seems to think it's important to keep them happy. It's actually a bunch of electorates, which Wikipedia describes as:

"Western Sydney is considered a particularly crucial region in federal politics, and the region's social conservativism has been credited with forming policy on migration and the treatment of asylum seekers by both major political parties."

Best I can tell it is mostly held by the ruling Labor party at present ("Labor heartland"), but not by much, so they are desperate to keep it and the coalition are desperate to take it.