The Australian government recently announced it will seek to alter the Immigration Act, to ensure that those coming to Australia by boat, will never gain citizenship and/ or entry of any kind.
Moreover, should these legislative changes take hold, all boat people deemed legitimate refugees will be resettled elsewhere.
Malcolm Turnbull reflected these ambitions on Sunday when he stated; “The door to Australia is closed to those who seek to come here by boat with a people smuggler- it is closed”.
But despite external pressure, Australia is perhaps the only nation in the developed world that has effectively stemmed the flow of illegal immigration, while maintaining a humanitarian intake and a generous aid contribution abroad.
Surely, it would be sensible to ensure that arrivals to the country who came through the assistance of people smugglers, are never allowed settlement in Australia.
Instead, we should prioritize those languishing in the refugee camps of the developing world, who could not finance the costs of boarding rickety people smuggling boats.
Further, the unmitigated disaster that occurred during the Labor years of 2007- 2013, in which thousands of vulnerable people drowned at sea, must never be repeated. As such, these most recent announcements that aim to deter would be boat people, are most appropriate.
And as for the critics of this latest move, this issue boils down to whether or not our government will take an internationalist approach, or a nationalist approach.
Of course, it would suit the past and present boat people to be instantly granted citizenship. A case (albeit a slightly dubious one), might be argued that asylum seekers were better off under Labor’s past policy of open borders.
But how would such a move serve the Australian people and our country’s interests? If the lessons of unbridled illegal immigration to Europe are of any worth, open borders are fraught with great risk and peril.
Thus, particularly from the perspective of a nationalist who seeks to put the Australian people first, it would be wise to uphold the current policy on asylum seekers, and further strengthen our borders through these latest legislative proposals.
While I’m no enormous fan of the federal government, this most recent move is one I applaud, as the fact that our political leadership is seeking to put Australians first despite foreign resistance, is admirable.