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Re: Refugees
Posted By: The Other Matthew, on host
Date: Saturday, September 1, 2001, at 10:02:09
In Reply To: Refugees posted by Sam on Saturday, September 1, 2001, at 06:14:17:

> In the chat room log from last night, I found a conversation between Lindra, Ellmyruh, and Grishny that caught my attention. The conversation was a debate about the story in the article linked to below. Ellmyruh's side of the debate was that it is inhumane for Australia to turn back these refugees, since the alternative is very likely that they will die. Lindra's side is that there is simply no room in Australia to house them, and because of that impossibility, there is nothing to be done but keep the borders closed to them.
> I say the debate "caught my attention," but actually it raised my ire. When people's lives are at stake, you *make* room.
> Australia has 19.4 million people in a country the size of the United States, which houses 285 million people and still has a population density less than that of Europe. Granted, a lot of Australia is uninhabitable without a lot of stamina and survival skills, but it is folly to suggest that Australia cannot sustain double, triple, even quadruple its current population, let alone an increase of just 450, especially when people's lives depend on it.
> "No room," indeed. Shameful.

My first thought is to wonder exactly why they are leaving their old country. People get upset when we in the United States turn away boatloads of Cubans. After all, we are the anti-communist capital of the world, aren't we? But then people get very quiet when they are told that they are not refugees, but that Fidel is cleaning out his prisons, and these are boatloads full of criminals. Then the outcry kind of fades away. For all I know, this is 460 criminals. The article doesn't say.

However, if they aren't refugees from the law, they probably should be admitted into Australia. However, this begs the question as to when too many is too many. When do you stop admitting refugees? You can't go on forever. You don't want to be a country full of people 'hiding' from another country. If you let these 460 in, then you have to let in the next 460. And maybe next time it's 800. Then 1200. Etc, etc, etc. Where's the cutoff point? When do you stop admitting refugees from other countries?

I would comment more on this, but I don't know WHY they are refugees. That implies they're running from something. Running from what? The law? Bad government? Famine? Drought? My mind thinks it's the last three from what little news I recall of Afghanistan's present situation. But if they're running from the law, Australia has no obligation to admit them. But I can;t really make up my mind on the issue until I know WHY they are refugees.

The Other "Typed a lot, but didn't really say much" Matthew

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