Since the Australian Elections 2016 is around the corner, the competing parties are coming up with new strategies to lure voters. The very recent is the Labor’s promise to offer visas to almost 30,000 asylum seekers.
Opposition Labor Party led by Bill Shorten revealed that the asylum seekers who arrived in Australia during the Rudd-Gillard government would be allowed permanent residency instead of three-year visas as promised earlier. The plan is to suspend the Temporary Protection Visas if Labor Party wins the federal election and Shorten becomes Australia’s next prime minister. The party has planned to offer full work rights to the refugees who arrived illegally to the nation during Labor’s previous government.
Immigration and Border Protection Minister Peter Dutton who called asylum seekers “illiterate and innumerate” sometimes ago as they would snatch a majority of Australian jobs has commented on the Labor’s revelation. He said that the initiative planned shows how “weak” the opposition party is. “Abolition of TPVs reveals Bill Shorten’s weak border policies,” Dutton said as quoted by Yahoo News. “It sends a dangerous signal to people smugglers that they’re back in business with a product to sell permanent settlement in Australia.
In October 2013, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott reintroduced Temporary Protection Visas as he promised voters during the then-election campaign. However, in December 2013, the Senate refused to bring them back as a result of which the government had to put a halt on new protection visas. This led to the expiry of the bridging visas of the 30,000 refugees without any legal formalities.
The Labor’s initiative for Australian Elections 2016 has come following a man who claimed to have been held at immigration detention asked for help from Shorten. According to The Daily Mail, the man, Paul, told Shorten that he had been in Yongah Hill Detention Centre following his stay in Australia for decades. He had to leave the nation after his visa was canceled after he was convicted of a crime. “I’m here after my visa was canceled after doing 12 months jail,” he said on Wednesday.
“I’ve lived in Australia for 30 years and upon my release from prison, I was sent here and had my visa canceled under the 501 legislation.”