Immigration minister Peter Dutton, has recently come under fire for his remarks regarding refugees, after he stated that any increase in humanitarian intake would lead to further ‘illiterate and innumerate’ people residing Australia. Dutton also suggested that refugees would likely ‘languish in unemployment queues and on Medicare’. Predictably, Dutton has been assailed by the left, with opposition leader Bill Shorten condemning the comments as insulting the ‘millions of migrants who have contributed to making this a truly great country’. Dutton has also sent twitter into overdrive, with scorn from refugee- advocates and charlatan progressives alike.
But surely, irrespective of whether these assertions are moral or immoral, should be a separate question altogether, compared to the far more pressing issue; is Peter Dutton is correct in his assertions, or incorrect? Far too frequently, appeals to emotion can blur the differences between what is a matter of fact and what is that of falsehood, however on this occasion, this slippery slope must be avoided.
So, are current refugees placing a substantial burden on Australia’s welfare system, or are they supplementing it? Unfortunately, according to Building a New Life in Australia, a ‘Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants’, refugees struggle in attaining employment once settled in Australia. In reference to refugees that settled during the Labor government of 2007- 2013, the report revealed that a whopping 88 % of asylum seekers relied on government payments, with only 6.8 per cent reporting reporting paid work as their primary income, when surveyed 3 to 6 months after their arrival.
This report is not racist propaganda, nor does it evoke a misleading conclusion. It’s statistically- supported claims, institute an indisputable, unequivocal, and uncompromising set facts in regards to refugees. There is no means by which these findings can be bypassed, skewed, or interpreted in any other way. Current Australian refugees, for factors which are up for debate, face sizable economic difficulties, whose responsibility will ultimately be bared by the Australian tax- payer.
Whether the reasoning for these issues facing refugees, were to be deemed as race- related, influenced by the economic climate, or due to a myriad of other factors, would certainly form a sensible platform for debate. Nonetheless, what is an established truth, as is the financial liability that accompanies modern Australian humanitarian intakes, should never be minced or re-adjusted to appease tsunamis of political correctness.