The misinformation regarding refugees and asylum seekers is something that really irritates me.
Seeking asylum is not illegal. It is not an illegal act, and it is not an illegal entry into our country. When the English aristocracy were fleeing the English Civil War in the 17th century — not illegal asylum seeking. There were even people seeking asylum in 511 (Council of Orleans) — newsflash: not illegal then either. In fact, fourth paragraph of that article above even explicitly states:
Though it is perfectly legal to arrive in any mode of transport to ask for asylum, according to 1951 UN Refugee Conventions we signed over 50 years ago, despite that promise, we will now imprison these most desperate people first - and ask questions later.
And what are the first two most popular comments?
I am happy there is a deterrent to illegal entry of my country. Go through legal and proper channels…
There is nothing unreasonable about Australia’s policy. If you arrive illegally in a country what do you expect?
… Have you not even read down to the fourth paragraph before making such a clueless and misinformed statement? What is wrong with you, srsly. Stop wasting our time with your wilful ignorance.
And then the third most popular comment:
Why should we allow more people into this country who will probably never contribute to our society. Its all very well we have do gooders that want to let these people in but at what cost.NZ have enough problems looking after what weve got.
The English Civil War is probably a good example. Because, do you know who is able to become an asylum seeker? Rich people. Forging passports and identification costs money, getting plane tickets costs money, bribing people at checkpoints costs money, hiring a lawyer to present your case well costs money. — NZ isn’t a cheap country to get to from the other side of the world.
The unfortunate fact is that there are a lot of underprivileged people living under threat who will never get the chance to try to seek asylum. The unfortunate fact is that, of those who make it, educated asylum seekers do far better in their interviews than “ordinary folk”. The system is biased towards privilege.
But that’s why that commentator’s argument is even more ridiculous. Focusing on the people who do come here, most of the time they’re professionals: doctors, engineers, ex-local UN workers (yeah, who knew working for the UN could get you into shit with the government!), business people. The large majority all have university degrees.
It’s only when they’re granted asylum and NZ won’t recognise their qualifications and work experience, then NEW ZEALANDERS turn around and say that the refugees “won’t contribute” meaningfully. Zaoui was a university lecturer and political candidate — he comes to NZ and all we’d allow him to do is sell kebabs.
And hey, will you look at that, Immigration NZ says we have a health sector and engineering shortage! (Even a shortage of university lecturers.)
I’m so sick of people not knowing what they’re talking about and still thinking we need to give their opinions weighty consideration — instead of the 2 second dismissal it deserves: You literally do not have an argument because all your facts are wrong.