It seems that the divide is like this... one side says we cannot let them in and the other side says let them in.
That is a huge oversimplification of course, presently the "we cannot let them in" camp is the dominant paradigm.
Let's examine what is happening now. Refugees are "detained" in deplorable conditions in Australia and overseas and while a few are "processed" many are simply detained indefinitely without having ever committed any actual crime.
It cannot be argued that this treatment is humane or good for anyone, however I do grant that some refugees are happier to be in this situation rather than being shot at or killed in the countries from which they have escaped.
I propose a radical and different solution to this "problem" working on two basic beliefs that I believe to be consistently true:
1 People who flee their countries in this way are almost guaranteed to be hard working go getters who not only work their butts off for /with the country they are accepted into. But also the contribution they make with gratitude for taking them in will translate to a valuable participation and improvement in the country they are accepted into.
2 What are we are doing now COSTS HEAPS. We could actually create a WIN WIN situation where Australia can act in a humane way as well as makes money from refugees rather than lose it on detaining them.
1 Accept every single person who attempts to arrive in Australia by boat and bring them into the country to live in "ghost towns", that is places that are in decline because nobody really wants to live there. Or places where there are plenty of jobs, that no Australian seems to want to do. Of course they have to be health screened for TB etctera. Here they are processed but are able to work immediately and contribute to society. They can be setup with a sort of Parole Officer type arrangement where their progress is tracked and they are kept closely under tabs.
2 Everyone accepted in this way is fined a one off fee of $50,000 which they have 5 years to pay off. Obviously if after 5 years they have come close to paying that off I would not recommend sending them back to where they came from. But if they fail to have paid this amount by that time they are deported and the debt remains.
I have arbitrarily come up with the figure of $50,000; of course a different amount could be used. I simply believe that a clear positive cash flow towards the costs of having them here rather than the black hole of cost that we have now is a very good thing.
This a very simple solution and I believe it should be implemented quickly as the human cost of what we are doing now is destructive almost beyond measure. To add mental distress to people by ongoing detention of people who are already facing a bleak mental health future from viewing or having escaped atrocities is a serious crime indeed.
What I propose is a skeleton, details would need to be fleshed out of course, but what we need to see right now is an end to what is happening now immediately. What is happening right now is akin to the internment camps for Japanese in WW2 in Australia and the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. I simply do not understand why our country is putting ourselves in this position at this time and fear what will be said of us in future history books.
I write this in good faith that a solution is needed right now and nobody else seems to have suggested one. Australia needs to show its true colours and accept more refugees now. While the humanitarian element is important the economic opportunity utterly wasted now is an important element to consider also.
I can be contacted via this blog or nimja at yahoo. com.
I put this to both sides of politics and all minor parties. Let's make this "problem" a "situation for windfall" rather than a cesspit of wasted $s and improper/inhumane treatment of people.