Menadue right again over double standards on asylum seekers arriving by plane: Greens
Former Immigration Department Secretary, John Menadue, is again correct when he says more people seek asylum at Australia’s airports than those who arrive by boat, the Australian Greens said today.
“The Immigration Department’s 2010-11 annual report (page 119) shows 6,316 people sought asylum at our airports, compared to 5,175 people who arrived by boat,” Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.
“Greater numbers sought protection at airports in 2009-10 and also 2008-09.
“Around 90 percent of people who arrive by boat are found to be in genuine need of protection. That falls to less than 40 percent of those who arrive by plane.
“You never hear the Coalition bleat ‘stop the planes’.
“People seeking asylum is a humanitarian issue and requires a more thoughtful and commonsense approach, rather than scoring political points over peoples’ desperation.
“As Mr Menadue asks, why are people who seek our protection via a boat are demonised and treated differently than if they arrive via a jet? The Refugee Convention says those seeking asylum should not be punished based on their mode of arrival. This is a double standard which must be stopped. Other countries do not treat asylum seekers differently based on how they arrive.
“The Greens note the harshly worded joint statement from Ministers Bowen and Clare issued yesterday suggesting Labor remains locked in a race to the bottom with Tony Abbott to dump asylum seekers offshore in Malaysia and Nauru.
“We urge Labor to show some moral backbone and stop its plans to reinstate offshore assessments outside of Australia. The Greens will never vote in favour of any legislation to exporting our humanity to Nauru or anywhere else.”
MEDIA CONTACT: PARIS LORD 0427 604 760
Office of Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young
Greens’ Senator for South Australia
M. 0427 604 760