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Re: Refugees
Posted By: Sam, on host
Date: Monday, September 3, 2001, at 05:02:51
In Reply To: Re: Refugees posted by Zeitgeist on Sunday, September 2, 2001, at 19:15:10:

> Still... How, exactly, does one draw the line? Suppose, for instance, that the entire population of a small Chinese city showed up in your town. 100,000 people, let's say. Well, they don't have freedom of religion in China, or a lot of other freedoms. So a migration isn't without cause.

I think there's a fundamental difference between migrating for a "lack of freedom" and migrating due to an "oppressive government that will kill you if you look funny at something." Still, 100,000 Afghans all trying to immigrate at once does indeed present an interesting dilemma.

I fully realize that practical concerns necessitate limits on how many people you can allow to immigrate into your country. You make a good point later -- Australia CAN support double its population but probably not if it doubled all at once.

But when people's lives are at stake, you do what you can. New Zealand said they'd take 150 of the 450. That's cool. New Zealand shouldn't be expected to solve the problem all by itself. Ideally all civilized countries should be offering to pitch in.

But the thing is, even if you absolutely just cannot take in any more immigrants for practical concerns, as someone else in this thread said, there are still a lot of uninhabited, unused islands in the world where refugees could be allowed to live on, without disturbing anybody. It would be nice if some government somewhere got them started on their new lives with food and shelter and jobs, but given what conditions they are fleeing, I'm sure they'd be happy just to have some spot of land they can squat on and learn to be self-sufficient on.

> I agree that in the shortrun, Australia should take the refugees, but what about the long term problem?

I truly don't know. The short term problem is all I find remotely clear about this issue.

> What about all the people *still* in Afghanistan? Shouldn't the world community do something about that? I would suggest perhaps an international "crimes against humanity" tribunal.

Absolutely. I suspect that if it would not spark an immediate global religious war, this would have already been done.

Good post.

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