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Reply to "queue jumper" letter in Nambucca Guardian 22 August 2014

A letter was published in the Nambucca Guardian, which included the following comments.

Mike's reply is below

"What do you call 'illegal' people who try to come to Australia, who do not fill in the required forms, ask, wait etc

They try to get accepted into our country before others, so they are queue jumpers.

And they expect others to pay for them

They have arrived on our shores uninvited, 'illegally' "

From: Mike
Sent: Friday, August 22, 2014 9:18 AM
Subject: Letter in response to Edwina du Casse

I can sympathise with Edwina du Casse’s frustration (letters 20th August) about the process of applying for a permanent residency visa. It is indeed, as I know from experience, a tiresome process which can drag on for what seems an endless time.  But whilst we were waiting on the outcome of our applications, we were not locked in detention, deprived of our liberty or watched over by guards who were not always sympathetic to our plight.
We simply cannot compare the immigration process  for economic migrants with that for refugees fleeing their countries of origin. We were free citizens, living in democratic countries and choosing to seek to live in Australia. We hadn’t witnessed our brothers, sisters, or our parents being tortured or killed simply because of who or where they were, or what they believed in.  We were not fleeing the horrors of war – often brought to their doorstep by Western governments. We were not living in daily fear for our lives.
The international community, following the unspeakable atrocities inflicted on the Jewish people in Nazi Germany during the Second World War, was determined that, in future, people fleeing torture and persecution  would be protected. That is why the Australian government is a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention. That is why, as a nation, we should respond with humanity and understanding to people seeking protection on our shores. Other nations, many of them much poorer that Australia, are doing just that.

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