Monday, March 7, 2011

A hidden agenda

Australia is a nation of migrants and has had an unceasing flow of them from the beginning. It has a higher proportion of its population foreign-born than any other nation except Israel. It was one of the few nations to take Jews fleeing from Hitler.

So it is mildly surprising to see an article in a major Sri Lankan newspaper headed "Secrets of Australian immigration history" -- an article that denounces Australian immigration policy in round terms.

It is particularly surprising when one considers that there are these days large numbers of Sri Lankan nationals risking life and limb in order to get to Australia as illegal immigrants. The illegals obviously think Australia is a pretty good place.

So what is going on? Simple: The Sri Lankan government and many Sinhalese are embarrassed by the flight of many of their Tamil citizens and want to put them off fleeing to Australia! As Tamils have a history of implacability and turning to terrorism to get what they want, I rather hope that the propaganda succeeds

Some excerpts below. They present a very warped view of Australia, albeit with some element of truth:

The Australian government’s white Australia policy which was eventually abandoned by the government in the 70s was very similar to Adolf Hitler’s ideology of racial purity. The only difference being the Australian Government did not round up Jews and send them to gas chambers, but strongly believed in a white superior race and wanted to maintain this status quo and had taken some extraordinary steps to enforce this.

Present times

Australian migration is open to all nationalities nowadays, provided there is a skill to offer to Australia or in some cases humanitarian grounds and there are laws to prevent discrimination based on the individual’s ethnic origins in Australia.

But majority of Australians still look at non white nationalities as a threat to the Australian way of life and often treat them as second-class citizens. In a recent times, the Sydney suburb of Cronulla witnessed race riots. Quite unfortunately most of perpetrators of Cronulla riots were white Anglo young Australians and they rioted against migrants of any ethnicity under theme of “we were born here you were flown here”.

At the time the Prime Minister of the day failed to condemn the riots and saw the situation as young people expressing their misguided view in a democratic country. New South Wales Police contained the riots with great difficulty which were caused by migrants using a beach in Cronulla usually inhabited by white Australian young males.

Mandatory detention

The current Australian policy is mandatory detention of any person seeking asylum in Australia. Thousands of displaced refugees are currently detainees. Some of them were stationed at an offshore detention centre called Christmas Island and a recent investigation by Australian Government Ombudsman had found these detainees to be held under very poor conditions.

In some instances, women and children were detained for long periods while immigration officials look into their asylum request. Quite unfortunately refugees from a number of countries including Sri Lankans are facing these difficult circumstances in Australia. Australia is the only country in the developed world which has a mandatory detention policy for refugees and asylum seekers. In conclusion modern Australia has allowed immigration to non white nationalities with great reluctance.

Unfortunately due to inability to fill the country with white Anglo Saxon British subjects, the Government was forced to allow the immigration to non white ethnicities. If this was not done Australia as a nation would have faced difficult economic circumstances and would likely have been classified as a Third World country. Australia had taken the decision to remain as an economically wealthy but moving away from white Australia policy with great reluctance and resistance.


Michigan Bill Requires Police and State Agencies to Check Immigration Status

Michigan has become one of the latest states to debate whether to require law enforcement officers to check the immigration status of people they approach for an offense and whom they suspect may be here illegally. A proposed bill in the House known as No. 4305 also would require government agencies to verify the immigration status of people older than 18 years of age who apply for federal, state or local public benefits.

As in many of the roughly 20 other states considering bills that target illegal immigration, the Michigan bill has drawn criticism by immigrant rights groups and religious leaders who say it would create a climate of fear and division.

An editorial in the Midland Daily News said “the bill fails the stink test.” But the measure's supporters say undocumented immigrants, who number an estimated 200,000 in Michigan, are a drain on the state that in recent years has been plagued with one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates and an exodus of its residents.

Republican Rep. Dave Agema of Grandville said the bill he introduced in February was a "common sense" measure to help ensure that federal immigration law is enforced in Michigan. The measure would require law enforcement officers to make a "complete, full and appropriate attempt" to verify a person's immigration status after the person is stopped for another offense and officers have probable cause to suspect the person is in the country illegally.

People who don't have a driver's license or other documentation and are suspected to be illegal immigrants could be turned over to federal custody. Agencies or officials that adopt policies limiting or restricting the enforcement of federal immigration law could face fines.

Agema said illegal immigration is costly to Michigan through higher costs for health care, education and human services.

Opponents say the bill would hurt Michigan's business climate and reputation by creating an atmosphere where even legal immigrants feel unwelcome.

Michigan's law enforcement officers already have the power to contact federal immigration officials if they've stopped someone that they have probable cause to believe is in the country illegally.

But Michigan State Police say there's no state immigration law that makes that a requirement or spells out procedures to follow if they suspect they've stopped an illegal immigrant.

The Michigan debate comes on the heels of a series of arrests of undocumented immigrants in the city of Kalamazoo by agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

The Hispanic American Council, the Kalamazoo area’s largest Latino advocacy group, told reporters that the raids -- which took place over several days -- had triggered fear in the local Hispanic community.

The roughly 20 immigrants who were arrested included people who had criminal records, while others had failed to leave the United States after being ordered deported.


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