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No Illegals, No Trouble: Immigration and Australian Law - Essay Example

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NO ILLEGALS, NO TROUBLE: IMMIGRATION AND AUSTRALIAN LAW NAME1 I BACKGROUND Australia was in the 20th century one of the countries that received most immigrants, besides the United States (US), Canada and New Zealand.2 By 1991, 23 percent Australians were born overseas, which is a higher percentage than in North America.3 However, despite such a high ratio, Australian government has tried to restrain migration since the 1980’s…
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Download file to see previous pages It threatens the very lives of our children, takes jobs away from legal Australians and wastes billions of tax dollars every year. It should be returned to being a crime, punished by imprisonment and deportation.5 Illegal immigration threatens the identity of Australians, as Australians perceive themselves as a homogenous nation. Though some illegal immigrants indeed engage in criminal activities, it should not be ignored that many of them are also victims, in need of help from the Australian legal system. Thus, though the system should be made stricter, these individuals should not be treated as criminals. There are multiple laws dealing with immigrants in Australia. Important ones are: the Australian Citizenship Act 1948, Immigration (Education) Act 1971, the Migration Act 1958, Immigration (Education) Charge Act 1992, the Migration (Health Services) Charge Act 1991, and Commonwealth Criminal Code 1992.6 The 1948 Act was repealed by Act No. 21 of 2007.7 Some of them will be explained in more detail further on. There are two types of illegal immigrants in Australia. The first type is immigrants on temporary visas and false identity.8 They blend with the local populations and are as a result hard to locate. The second type is “boatpeople.”9 Mostly from China, Iraq and Afghanistan, many of them pay to professional transporters specializing in illegal immigrants to come to Australia. It was estimated that on average, 6 000 illegal immigrants come to Australia by boats and air each year.10 In the US, they are estimated to amount to 300 000, indicating that Australia is much more efficient at controlling its borders.11 Some argue that lenient Australian laws attract these illegal entrants. According to the Australian laws, illegal entrants are entitled to a legal counselor during the extraditing procedure. 12 As a result, many remain in Australia. However, these illegal immigrants are not welcome. There are concerns that even larger numbers of illegal immigrants might not be possible to assimilate into the Australian society and that they might become unwelcome.13 They occupy jobs which otherwise might have been occupied by Australian citizens and permanent residents. Employers caught providing employments to illegal immigrants are in violation of Australian laws. Under the Migration Act 1958 and the Commonwealth Criminal Code 1995 it is an offence ‘to knowingly or recklessly allow an illegal worker to work or to refer an illegal worker for work.’14 Some parties define illegal immigrants as criminals. Australia First Party argues that immigrants escape their home countries where they suffer persecution. In the first country that accepts them, they are refugees. However, they then start moving from one country to another for economic reasons, until they arrive to Australia. Once they leave the first country of destination, they become criminals.15 There is a dichotomy in the Australian system. Judges are on average lenient toward such individuals. The immigration bureaucracy, on the other hand, is strict. Since the 1980’s, the Australian government has taken a conservative stand.16 This dichotomy between the two systems reflects the historical tendency toward strict immigration laws and the public opinion supporting such policies, as opposed to the more lenient judicial system.17 II HISTORICAL ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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