Let me draw your attention to Recommendation 1 of the recent HREOC report on Christmas Island.
That and the rest of the report strikes just the right note as far as I am concerned. This piece of legalistic chicanery came via the Howard administration and is as shameful and Dickensian now as it was then. Repealing this and much more is what the Rudd government should have attempted from Day One. Instead Rudd was sucked in – no doubt for what he saw as clever political reasons – by the rhetoric of his predecessors – including, let it be said, that of the later Hawke and Keating administrations.
Life would have been a lot simpler all round, and the deepening mire of the Oceanic Viking avoided, if this had been done. The 78 Tamils could easily have been brought here for processing, and should be.
I am not an open borders romantic. We do have the right to determine who stays here, if not even the possibility of determining 100% who comes here. People forget in their obsession with boats that the majority actually fly in.
For more see immigration on this blog.