Get-up fact sheet on asylum seeking

3 Nov

Extract from Get-Up – Australia & asylum seekers: The myths and the facts. Some facts on asylum-seeking for those who are still wedded to the idea that it is a form of illegal immigration…

Myth 5 – Boats are bringing terrorists to our shores


Some opposition backbenchers have recently stated that arrivals of boats are likely to be a perfect cover for terrorists entering Australia.20 In reality, the threat of terrorists entering the country in this way has been described by counter-terrorism experts as ʻinfinitesimally smallʼ. Asylum seekers arriving by boat may face years of delay before gaining entry into Australia – as opposed to those arriving by air.

All asylum seekers arriving in Australia undergo thorough security checks from ASIO in conjunction with Indonesia. Comparisons with the US found that those involved in the terrorist activities of September 11 arrived on valid US visas.

Myth 6 – Asylum seekers are ʻillegal immigrantsʼ

Under the Refugee Convention, which Australia has signed, all people have the right to seek asylum in Australia. They may be found to be genuine refugees, and they may not – but seeking asylum is not illegal under Australian law or international law. The term ʻillegal immigrantʼ, just like the term ʻqueue jumperʼ, is designed to make asylum seekers seem alien and unworthy of sympathy.

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