Why can’t we consider ‘asylum seekers’, ‘illegal immigrants’, ‘boat people’ or whatever label or category they are given, as people with feelings and emotions just like you and I? They are not aliens from outer space. They are human beings who have found themselves in an intolerable situation in their home country and are now trying to improve their lot by migrating to Australia. There is nothing wrong in this – their actions are to be commended as it shows initiative. There are many millions of current Australians who did the same – as did I. The only difference is that I came by plane not by a leaky boat. But then I was not oppressed; I was not targeted because of my religious beliefs; I was not unemployed or living in poverty; I was not subjected to cruel and harsh treatment or sexual abuse. I can speak English and I had a good education.
Instead of spending billions of dollars keeping these people in detention, doing nothing, why not offer them some inducement, some encouragement to learn English and employment opportunities by offering then some form of short term work permit? Many will be skilled and quite willing to work. By mixing with the general population they would quickly be introduced to Australian laws, social customs, our way of life and familiarity with the English language and thereby become integrated and better immigrants.
They might need to be monitored by electronic means until all necessary background checks have been completed and to prevent absconding. They would be working and paying taxes, not costing the tax payers anything; they would be contributing to the economy of the country – not a drain.
This is, I suggest, a better and more compassionate way of treating these so called “illegals” and a possible solution to Australian current shortage of skilled (and unskilled) labour.
Why not? It is not as if there are millions of them in an armada just over the horizon. Just a few thousand desperate people who wish to improve their quality of life.
Why not give them an Australian fair go?