Saturday, October 6, 2007

Refugees and Australia...

In Countries (like Australia) with so much wealth and so much room - WOW! What can we do???
Write to your MP AND sponsor a refugee family (or at least get to know one!).

A freeze on the settlement of refugees from Africa - including those from Sudan's Darfur region - has been announced by the Australian government.
Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said the refugees had trouble integrating, and other parts of the world such as Iraq and Burma were greater priorities.
The freeze will last until mid-2008, and there are no guarantees that Africans will be admitted after then.
Critics say it is a pre-election pitch to immigration-wary voters.

Mr Andrews said refugees from Sudan and conflict-torn Darfur were having problems integrating into Australian communities, and that trouble spots closer to home should take priority.
To that end, Africans are being replaced in the humanitarian refugee programme by people fleeing Iraq and Burma.

'Xenophobic' jibe
Australia has accepted or is processing about 3,900 Africans this year - 30% of its total refugee intake.
Just two years ago they made up 70% of the total.
Critics have accused the government of a pre-election move to appeal to xenophobic voters, and they have also said it is absolutely wrong to argue that Africans are failing to integrate.
One community leader said they were making an immense contribution to the economy by taking jobs which many Australians simply did not want to do.

Certainly, there is a nativistic streak in parts of the Australian electorate.
In previous campaigns the Prime Minister John Howard government has benefited from concerns over immigration - especially in regional seats.
Only last year the town of Tamworth in New South Wales voted against hosting a trial refugee resettlement programme after the Sudanese were branded as criminals by the local mayor.
So fierce was the condemnation that the council was forced to reverse that decision.


Anonymous said...

It is fashionable for the opposition to label the government as racist. You have not been in this country for the past 11 years, and can only rely on what you read in the largely left leaning press or what you hear from the largely left leaning social justice (read socialist) advocates.

You are passionate about social justice. Good. So are most Christians, but not all are socialists. I think you are doing a wonderful job, but be careful to listen to what God tells you, rather than the mob.

These three articles appeared on Friday, and it might be interesting to see how many Christians blog about the hypocrisy of the next prime minister of our country - in the interests of social justice of course.

Anonymous said...

While many would not wholly agree with the governments decision concerning Africans - they do have a responsibility to keep the countries immigration balanced. This kind of argument arises everytime there is a change of quotas. You need to get to know this country before your jump in boots and all.


Anonymous said...

Interesting, a would be prime minister claiming to be a Christian, yet cannot acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God.

Anonymous said...

I want our country to be led by TRUE Christians, ones who will not hide behind their religion to get the vote. I want them to be bold enough to speak out about their real faith in Almighty God and HIS power to deal with the injustices of this world here in Australia and elsewhere. I, like the previous commentors believe that you really need to be in our country long enough to make objective decisions and thoughts on the subject and not be influenced by those who are of the very leftist wing. It is everbody's right to vote for whoever, but I would hope that as a Christian you would make this a matter of prayer and be led by God and no other.

Sarah Williams said...

I commend Danielle about her comments on African refugees. Danielle is getting her information from relaible sources such as the migrant services in Noble Park where there is even a Salvation Army Sudanese congregation!
Whether you are from Australia or not has nothing to do with how you feel about humanitarian policies. Even Jesus was homeless when he was to be born into this world!
Most people only get information from the Herald Sun and commercial news reports and are not really informed at all about the truth.
I work and am friends with many Sudanese refugees in the area that is under attack and most have been deeply hurt by the comments made by Mr. Andrews. These people are the most dignified and hospitable people I have ever met and they should be welcomed to this country especially when they have been through so much already (e.g. trauma, torture, separation, grief, loss, war, health issues).