The legacy of Australia’s immigration policies haunts survivors and supporters
“The reality is that it seems highly unlikely that this will ever be a mechanism that will provide any sort of remedy, so we can’t really get a binding ruling from the International Court of Justice as to whether this policy is compliant,” she said. Australia’s approach to the detention of asylum seekers arriving by boat.
In 2015, a Times editorial board opinion essay described Australia’s policies as “unconscionable”, as well as “inhumane, of dubious legality and in stark contrast to the country’s tradition of welcoming people fleeing persecution and war”.
These same policies appear to be the playbook for proposed legislation in Britain that would give the Home Office the ‘duty’ to deport nearly all migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats, as my colleague Megan Specia reports. .
The proposed legislation would allow the government to quickly detain and deport anyone who arrives “in violation of immigration control”, the bill says. “The main thing they have in common is that they seek to criminalise, almost, asylum, or at least undermine the right to an institution of asylum,” Ms Foster, a lawyer, said of UK policies and Australian.
“Australian policy has long been based on the idea that if someone arrives without prior permission – and whether or not that individual is a refugee – they are doing something wrong,” she said. “They are illegal, they are illegal, they are ‘unauthorized sea arrivals’.”
Even the three-word slogan is the same: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak appeared from behind a pulpit on Tuesday sporting the rallying cry “Stop the boats”. Tony Abbott, the Australian Prime Minister, used exactly the same language to promote his own policy ten years ago.
As in Australia, the policy is of dubious legality. On the front page of the bill, Suella Braverman, the UK Home Secretary, writes that she is “unable to make a declaration” that the bill is compatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. (The proposed legislation follows a government plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda that is currently being challenged in court.)
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