Federal election 2016: smugglers in bid to restart boat flow

Federal election 2016: smugglers in bid to restart boat flow, by Greg Bearup.

People-smugglers appear to be using next month’s election to dupe asylum-seekers into believing they can make it to Australia, according to refugee advocates in India. …

Gladston Xavier, chairman of the South Asian Refugee Rights Network, said: “The people-smugglers are the motivating force behind it. People are being duped into this. There is a lot of frustration as some people have been refugees for more than 25 to 30 years.” …

“We don’t know why they are motivated to leave now. In Sri Lanka things have improved quite a bit. In India there is no pressure to return. Of course a durable solution is not far away, but it is not near either. These are not people who have been tortured or whose life is at threat in India, definitely not.”

Labor has said it will continue Abbott’s policies on illegal immigrants:

The apparent re-emergence of the people-smuggling trade to Australia comes as Labor has pledged that if elected it would continue the Coalition’s hardline stand on boats, including turnbacks.

Contrary views within Labor on the party’s policies on asylum-seekers and offshore processing have dogged its election campaign, with dozens of MPs and candidates questioning the ALP’s stated position.

Before the 2007 election Kevin Rudd reassured us that he would continue the same policies and stances as John Howard, except that he would eliminate Work Choices and sign the Kyoto Protocol. Regardless of what Mr Rudd intended, once in government there were policy u-turns in many areas — and illegals arriving by boat went from almost zero to a large influx. Let’s hope that we don’t get a repeat.