Monday, March 5, 2012

Australia's Leftist government opens the floodgates for illegals

AUSTRALIA will quadruple the number of asylum seekers released from detention to live in the community, prompting accusations the Gillard Government has quietly dismantled mandatory detention.

The dramatic increase allowing 400 asylum seekers a month to be released on bridging visas to live and work or claim welfare payments before their claims are finalised prompted Coalition warnings yesterday of a "let them in and let them out" policy.

But it will be welcomed by the Greens, who have long called for the dismantling of the inhumane detention of asylum seekers.

Asylum seekers had previously remained in detention until their claims for refugee status were finalised, some after years, and were then released into the community or deported.

The forecast of 400 asylum seekers a month to be released into the community is the same number the department expects to arrive by boat every month over the next year.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen flagged the new policy in November, predicting 100 asylum seekers a month would be released.

"The rate at which we are currently processing people would see us releasing about 400 people a month on bridging visas," deputy secretary John Moorhouse said.

Immigration secretary Andrew Metcalfe added in evidence to a parliamentary hearing that on current boat arrival, "we believe we will probably get up to that figure".

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison ridiculed Minister Bowen's earlier pledge that the policy of mandatory detention was "rock solid". "Labor's policy for illegal boat arrivals has now been exposed as simply being let them in and let them out," Mr Morrison said.

"The revelation the number of bridging visas will rise to four times the level indicated by the Minister when he announced the scheme just three months ago shows just how far the Labor Government has embraced the Greens policy of onshore release.

"The big winners are people smugglers. The Government's own figures reveal the average price paid on these boats is $10,000 a person."

But the Government expects to rein in a budget blowout sparked by rising arrivals under the policy. That is because it is cheaper to allow asylum seekers to live and work in the community or claim welfare payments than it is to house them in remote detention centres.


New Zealand prefers wealthy immigrants

A Cabinet paper shows the Government is planning to tighten up on family members seeking New Zealand residency while giving preference to better-off immigrants.

The draft paper leaked to the Labour Party shows Immigration New Zealand is planning to create a two-tier system where applications from parents sponsored by their higher income children, or those who bring a guaranteed income or funds, would be processed faster than other applications.

The system would also be tightened for those in the second tier for wealthier immigrants so that only those with no adult children living in their home country would be eligible.

Sponsors would be required to support immigrating parents for a period of 10 years, up from five, and parents would no longer be able to bring dependent children.

Parents with poor English would also need to "pre-purchase tuition".

The sibling and adult child immigration category would be removed to reduce the number of unskilled migrants who find it more difficult to get jobs and are more likely to get benefit payments.

Samoan immigrants would also be affected with the introduction of new minimum income levels.

Immigration Minister Nathan Guy said the policy was aimed at attracting migrants with the right skills and wealth to help grow New Zealand's economy. "That is why we want new migrants to be self-sufficient and be able to contribute to New Zealand, rather than going straight onto a benefit."

However Labour's immigration spokeswoman Darien Fenton said New Zealand was becoming a country were only the rich were welcome. "We roll out the red carpet for them, yet we make it near impossible for good, less well-off families."

The paper was prepared for the first 100 days of the new government but the changes were omitted in a briefing to incoming minister Nathan Guy which was publicly released last month.

"They will come as a shock to the thousands of people in New Zealand looking to reunite their families, especially given the special treatment handed out to millionaires such as Kim Dotcom," Fenton said.


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