Monday, July 19, 2010

asylum seeker facts

  • The vast majority of people seeking asylum in Australia arrive by plane.
  • 95% of asylum seekers arriving by boat are found to be genuine refugees.
  • Just 3441 asylum seekers were given refugee status in Australia last year, roughly 1% of the total migration program for that year.
  • In comparison, around 50,000 people over-stayed their visa last year alone – mostly people with business, student or holiday visas.
  • Australia only accepts 1% of the worlds’ refugees.
  • At the current rate of refugee arrivals, it would take 20 years to fill the MCG.
  • It is not illegal to arrive in Australia seeking asylum.

From here.

  • Ruth, part of genealogy of Jesus, was a refugee.
  • Moses was seeking asylum when he fled Egypt.
  • So was Jesus when his parents fled from Herod’s military might.

From here

Sorry, I’m sure this issue is more complex than such simple sound bites.

Posted by steve at 06:03 PM

Thursday, July 08, 2010

gillard’s asylum seeker speech on wordle

Further to my post yesterday, I thought it would be interesting to place Julie Gillard’s speech announcing Labor’s new asylum-seeker policy in Wordle.

Yep, click on it and the word Timor is there! And “values” is smaller than “facts.”

Full text of the speech is here.

Posted by steve at 11:20 PM

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

free (Timor) parking (of asylum seekers)! Uniting church response to Gillard

For my Australian readers (and for Kiwis who care about social justice and wonder how Christians in New Zealand would respond to people seeking asylum and arriving by boat if we didn’t have a large land mass called Australia sheltering us), here is the Uniting Church response to the Gillard proposal – what the New Zealand Herald called “Canberra sticks out unwelcome mat to arrivals“.

Some quick points.
1. This is one outstanding advantage of being a connectional church, as opposed to a three Tikanga Kiwi Anglican church, or a congregationalist ie Baptist, that the church is able to speak quickly on rapidly evolving social issues.

2. The importance of treating all humans as people, and not slogans like “queue jumpers” or “illegals.”

Posted by steve at 05:42 PM