The Federal Government’s border protection policies are again under scrutiny after two boats of asylum seekers were intercepted in two days. Authorities picked up a boat carrying 28 passengers and two crew, not far from tourist town Broome, in the early hours of this morning. Yesterday, authorities intercepted a boat carrying 80 passengers and three crew. Both boats are being taken to detention facilities on Christmas Island. A total of 20 boats have arrived so far this year.
The opposition’s spokesman for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison, said more than 4000 people had arrived illegally on boats since the Rudd government changed its border protection policies. The government’s policies were enticing asylum seekers, Mr Morrison said. “There is no shortage of potential customers for people smugglers under the Rudd government’s policies,” Mr Morrison said in a statement.
But Home Affairs Minister Brendan O’Connor said “situations around the world” meant there were large numbers of displaced people looking for resettlement. [So how come illegal immigration into America is declining? It’s certainly NOT due to toughened controls by the Obama administration. Obama has in fact significantly cut back enforcement]