Asylum seekers spike 'not Govt's fault'
Posted Mon Dec 8, 2008 6:30pm AEDT
Updated Mon Dec 8, 2008 8:19pm AEDT
In the last three months six boats have been intercepted in Australian waters. (User Submitted: Michael Neist)
An immigration analyst says it is highly unlikely that changes to Australia's immigration laws are to blame for a recent spike in the number of asylum seekers.
In the past fortnight, three boats carrying suspected asylum seekers have been found off the coast of Western Australia.
The Opposition says the Government's decision to abolish temporary protection visas has sparked a rush of arrivals since August.
However, Professor of Human Rights at Curtin University, Linda Briskman, says the number of people seeking asylum is relatively small and believes Australia's immigration laws are adequate.
“Mandatory detention is still firmly in place, and border protection is still very strong. People who are fleeing and coming here really wouldn't have any idea about Government policies,” she said.
“I know the Opposition is saying it's due to a softening of policies, but I think that is highly unlikely.”
Professor Briskman, says the Opposition is just over-reacting and believes the current immigration laws are adequate.
“I certainly don't believe they need to be strengthened at all. In the past they've been pretty draconian in lots of ways,” she said.
“I think more protections need to be put in place so that we have a fair, accountable and transparent system.”
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