07 March 2012

People getting sick of Australian immigration row

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The most recent boat arrival of asylum seekers to the country has prompted Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen to claim that people are 'sick and tired' of the back and forth between political parties continually apportioning blame on each other.

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Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen says Australians are getting 'sick and tired' of the continuing row between parties.

A boat carrying 26 suspected asylum seekers was intercepted by Australian immigration authorities off the coast of Western Australia on Tuesday night. A spokesperson for the Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said the arrivals would be taken to Christmas Island for processing.

Mr Bowen said the arrival was the 10th such arrival since the opposition's refusal to negotiate on the people swap deal with Malaysia. He called on the opposition to re-enter discussions in an attempt to tackle the problem.

"Australians are sick and tired of the politics and expect both sides of parliament to work together in the national interest to stop people risking their lives at sea," said Mr Bowen.

The two major political parties in Australia have been locked in an ongoing wrangle to implement their own solutions to the issue; the government wants to implement offshore processing while the opposition wants to reinstate the Howard government's policy of issuing temporary protection visas and turning asylum seeking boats around.

As the deadlock continues and asylum seekers continue to arrive in Australia, detention facilities continue to encounter problems such as overcrowding and reports condemning their conditions. In response, the government announced plans to begin releasing 400 detainees a month into community detention, four times as many as originally announced.

The opposition condemned these plans as 'let them in and let them out' but the government responded by claiming that if the opposition were genuinely concerned about the issue they would re-enter negotiations regarding the Malaysia Solution.

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