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Australia Eases Policy on Detaining Asylum Seekers

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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-25-11 09:43 PM
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Australia Eases Policy on Detaining Asylum Seekers
Source: NYT

The government announced a significant shift on Friday in its policy toward asylum seekers who try to reach the country by sea, moving away from its use of open-ended detention in favor of a plan that allows applicants to live and work in the country while their claims are processed.

The immigration minister, Chris Bowen, said 27 asylum seekers who had arrived by boat would be released on so-called bridging visas, with more to follow in the coming months. The announcement was a reversal for Prime Minister Julia Gillards government, which had maintained a policy of mandatory detention in hopes of deterring asylum seekers.

A plan to ship such asylum seekers to Malaysia for processing was rejected by the High Court this summer. The government abandoned an attempt to bypass that ruling through legislation after it became evident that it lacked the votes to succeed.

Mr. Bowen, referring to the opposition leader, Tony Abbott, said on Monday: It became clear a month or so ago that legislation to allow for offshore processing of asylum seekers would not pass the Parliament due to the reckless approach of Mr. Abbott and the Liberal Party. As a result, the only lawful alternative is to process asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat onshore.

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Tanelorn Donating Member (162 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-26-11 01:34 AM
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1. At last a small modicum of decency has broken out.
Some distance is being made between 'Stop the boats' Abbott
and the Gillard govt.
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