Myths about refugees and asylum seekers

Men and horses marching
Anzac Day March Fremantle 2015 What did they fight for?

They fought for a”fair go”, for freedom not concentration camps in our name!

It’s worth saying it again as some never seem to listen

Myth: “Asylum seekers who arrive by boat are illegals.”

Both Australian and international law allow asylum seekers to enter Australia without authorisation. Asylum seekers do not break any Australian laws simply by arriving on boats or without authorisation.

“Myth: Asylum seekers are queue jumpers. They should apply through the proper channels, rather than applying onshore.”

Applying as an asylum seeker is the normal way of seeking protection as a refugee. Resettlement is meant to act as a complement to other strategies for protecting refugees, not a substitute for providing protection to refugees who arrive as asylum seekers. Only a tiny minority of the world’s refugees are resettled and the system works more like a lottery than a queue. Most refugees – even people in very vulnerable and dangerous situations – cannot realistically expect to be resettled in the near future, if ever.

Myth: “Asylum seekers who arrive by boat are economic migrants.”

An asylum seeker is, by definition, a person who claims to be a refugee and is waiting for that claim to be assessed. It is impossible to say one way or the other whether their protection claims are credible until they have been assessed. Historically, however, the vast majority of asylum seekers who have reached Australia by boat have been found to be refugees.

Myth: “Refugees and asylum seekers receive higher social security payments than Australian age pensioners.”

A refugee who has permanent residency in Australia receives exactly the same social security benefits as any Australian citizen or eligible permanent resident in the same circumstances. Centrelink payments are calculated at exactly the same rate for both refugees and non-refugees.

There are more myths detailed by the Refugee Council

Myths about refugees and asylum seekers: Quick mythbuster

Detailed mythbuster