immigration

One of the most direct ways that exclusion on the basis of citizenship occurs is by denial of access to territory. Denial of freedom of movement. What this can mean to the potential immigrant is denial of the right to work, the right to safety and to education. Thousands of irregular migrants have lost their lives seeking to cross international borders.

No One is Illegal

“You who are so-called illegal aliens must know that no human being is ‘illegal’. That is a contradiction in terms. Human beings can be beautiful or more beautiful, they can be fat or skinny, they can be right or wrong, but illegal? How can a human being be illegal?”  Elie Wiesel, holocaust survivor, nobel peace…

More than one thousand deaths since 2000

On 15 December 2010, 50 people are believed to have drowned when their asylum seeker boat was smashed, only metres from safety, on the shores of Christmas Island.  Some of the bodies of those who died will never be recovered.  In protests by asylum seekers that followed, children held in detention are seen holding up placards asking: “The children died. Why?”…

Government should take lesson from Christmas Islanders

It appears from all reporting that what makes the tragedy that occurred on the morning of Wednesday 15 December, 2010 on the shoreline of Christmas Island all the more tragic is that human beings had to watch (and listen) helplessly whilst fellow humans died just metres away. The stories of the traumatised witnesses have painted a horrific picture of what…

Villawood Protests

What is a “protest”? In the context of democracy we think of them as citizen action – citizens speaking to their government – expressing their dissatisfaction with a policy or state of affairs. What then are we to make of the actions of a few non-citizens protesting on the roof of the Villawood detention centre…

“Crossing Over” – Harrison Ford stars as ICE Agent

Crossing Over is a 2009 American independent film drama exploring the lives of illegal immigrants attempting to “cross the border” literally and metaphorically to achieve legal status in the United States.   The film deals with the border, document fraud, the asylum and green card process, work-site enforcement, naturalization, the office of counter-terrorism and the clash of cultures. …

Australia seeks to process asylum seekers in East Timor

In a policy announcement echoing the discredited ‘Pacific solution’ of the previous Liberal Government, the new Australian government has decided to seek to detain asylum seekers in a ‘regional processing centre’ in East Timor.  The new Australian policy reflects a general hardening of policies towards asylum seekers in the lead up to national elections.   ABC…

Remote Control Borders: Violating Freedom of Movement

Article 13(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says that everyone has the right to leave any country.   Increasingly countries are cooperating to violate this human rights by preventing aslyum seekers and others from leaving a country to seek refuge in another country.  Some examples are: Egypt:  which prevents Africans from leaving Egypt in…