Well I’m very glad to see that finally, after years of frankly f*cking around on the matter the federal government has seen fit to start introducing some changes which lean towards reasonability into the regimen of immigration detention.
- They have allowed children and their parents to be released into the community.
- They have set time limits (3 months) on the amount of time which they have to process an application for refugee status.
- And they have placed a 3 month time limit on the appeals process relating to refugee applications.
All up this hopefully means that those who are in detention will either be acknowledged as refugees by the government (as many of them apparently already are by the UNHCR) and allowed to stay, or be turned down in their application in a reasonable amount of time, and be either returned to their home country, passed on to another country which will accept them as migrants, or allow them to apply to enter Australia under some other immigration avenue.
As some aside notes, while looking around the UNHCR website I found this little comment, which confirms that it is not just Opposition politicians and those with a score to settle who think that indefinite mandatory detention is a pretty dodgey situation.
I also found an interesting thing on the BBC website about how recent studies have shown that immigration has many more benefits for a country than it has problems. It’s interesting reading, and seems to support my pet idea in relation to immigration that in light of the chronic shortage of trades people in Australia, and the reluctance of young Australians to enter into apprenticeships, Australia should simply create a new immigration avenue and say to people, you can come to Australia, and so long as you are of sound character (ie. no criminal history etc.) and are willing to do one of this list of approved apprenticeships we will help you learn functional english, give you permanent residency and welcome you into our country as a productive contributing member. I’m sure most of the people in Baxter would jump at the offer of a new safe home and a guaranteed job (with quite lucrative employment opportunities once you’re trained), and it’d be a damn site cheaper for the government to collect income tax off them than pay to keep them locked up… (plus it drives the economy and makes you look positively saintly in international circles..)