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

The true illegals don’t come by boat

A lot of disrespect is paid to Australia by the true illegals,white people who don’t stand out, who overstay their visitors’ permits. They are here illegally. They are the uncontrolled stream… But they are rich enough to fly in a plane. They are the ones taking jobs… But we don’t imprison them!

By comparison, the small number of people who escape death and persecution, who risk their lives ( and some do die) are NOT illegal..they are refugees, coming from countries that do not have embassies where they can apply for admission.
Unfortunately they are brown and black and stand out. They dress a little differently, they speak differently, and maybe even worship differently.
Our political “leaders” in their race to the bottom treat these people like criminals, pandering to those who want everything to be exactly as it was in some mythical “white Australia”, that never existed except in the fevered brains of the John Howards of this country.

99 per cent of this generation of boat people are eventually considered as true refugees and allowed to stay, soon becoming Australians …making a home in a country where all those except the indigenous are immigrants or descendants of immigrants.
Of those that are sent back, some have been executed…. Their terror not a mirage but reality,

For the majority of us who are immigrants or descendants of immigrants (boat people from the First Fleet, or 10 pound Poms, or Pre or post war refugees, or Vietnamese or all the other variations)…how can we say enough? How can we turn our backs and say because we and ours are OK, everyone else must stay away.

Yes, some of our ancestors fought in WW1 and WW2…not to keep anyone out but to try to ensure we could all live in peace.

Over the recent history of Australia, since the first gold rush in the 1850s, each new group has arrived, settled in and changed this corner of the world. Since we are here to stay each change is to be enjoyed and gloried in, for by this we are richer not poorer.

Common Myths about Refugees Refugee Council of Australia

Some Great Australians… Who Happened To Be Refugees Kochie Blog

A Poem I wrote 10 years ago… who would believe the situation is worsening, for now we are hiding the shame “off shore”

Christmas Island seascape
The beautiful Christmas Island where refugees are held out of sight from mainland Australia Photo taken Rosemary Spark December 2009

No Flowers

All I can see are fences
No flowers in this country.
All I can hear are shouts
No songs in this country.
All I can smell is fear
No flowers in this country.
All I can taste is dust
Wrong bread in this country.
All I can touch are wires
No flowers in this country.

In this country
Why didn’t God make flowers?
Where is the love?
Where are the hugs?
Where are the flowers?

Rosemary Spark August 2002

As for the shameful and blatantly false claim refugees are to blame for our security problems that is the worst kind of politicking!
Our security problems are the largely the result of the dispossessed poor watching the rich get richer while jobs, housing, education and health are increasingly out of reach. Governments continue to reneg on the “social contract” and allow big business to strip Australia bare.
Any foreign terrorist will calmly come by plane business class, not risk his life in a leaky boat on the off chance of finding the kindness of strangers on the Australian coast.


Letter to New Prime Minister 2010

Prime Minister,
Welcome. As a woman, I look to you to bring into being some of the things that have not received adequate care. As a person who has always supported the Labor party, I want to see some traditional values upheld..”.a fair go” might be a good start…
1) We need to give our environment “a fair go”. Action has to be taken to care for our environment, to cut pollution and to look for alternatives to fossil fuel..that do not hold the future to ransom. Nuclear energy is not an alternative.
2) We have to give Refugees a” fair go”Refugees however they come should be treated with courtesy and prompt action. Many Australians have offered spare rooms..look and listen…there are many Australians who welcome “new Australians” Under no circumstances should families be separated and put in prison..
3) We have to give those who are struggling with Mental Health a “fair go” There is no way, in our prosperous Australia people should be homeless because they can’t hold a job, fill in all the forms,etc because they are mentally ill. They have slipped through the cracks. We have to provide a safety net
4) We have to allow information access a “fair go” Internet filtering that copies China and Korea is inappropriate, expensive and without adequate safeguards. Extend systems that allow people to choose the amount of filtering for their own families, allied with proper blocking of sites judged by the people who censor books and videos.(not iSPS!)..but with lists available
4) We need to give our indigenous brothers and sisters a “fair go” Apply the same rules to white sexual offenders as you do to indigenous people in NT. Have you taken over the communities in Victoria where sexual offenders live? Infrastructure you supply to mining towns might be pleasant in indigenous communities. If you can’t pay compensation, at least supply teachers and doctors. Best of all…ask.

I hope you read this and understand my heart cries out to see a government that cares.