Persuasive on Asylum Seekers

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“This is a humanitarian, decent country,” said Mr. John Howard back in 2001, this statement was coincidentally made during the time in which 438 Afghan asylum seekers were refused permission to enter Australian waters. Arriving in a cargo vessel, the MV Tampa, after almost sinking in an Indonesian boat, the captain of the Tampa claimed that he had saved the asylum seekers’ lives at the request of the Australian Search and Rescue authorities, so why was it that the Tampa was told to turn back? Obviously, we don’t seem to be much of a humanitarian, decent country if this is the harsh treatment we give to those who seek our assistance. In that cargo vessel, there were people who were unconscious; people who were attempting to flee a country which they honestly believed was a threat to them. If we, as a country, are constantly publicising our hospitality to newcomers, then are we really practicing what we preach? I put to you this question: ‘Are we hospitable? Or are we hostile?’ We are one among 9 nations to sign a convention stating that we will facilitate the assimilation and naturalisation of refugees. This is why it appears so hypocritical when we turn our backs against the approaching asylum seekers and claim that we cannot help them. Some say that we should not be accepting asylum seekers with the degree of leniency that we do because we are unaware of whom these people really are and may misjudge their character when in actuality they may be terrorists. However, the possibility that these asylum seekers who land on our shores having travelled by boat being terrorists is highly unlikely. The distance from a country such as Afghanistan to Australia is an extremely long way to cover – more than 11,000 kilometres. If a terrorist ever did intend on terrorising our country, there would be more plausible methods for them to carry out their action. It would only be natural to assume that they would be associated with a larger organisation, possess large amounts...
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