Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has praised Immigration Minister Peter Dutton for his comments about refugees taken in by Australia, saying they “are illiterate in their own language.”
Turnbull agreed with “outstanding” Dutton when the latter said that refugees would be “taking Australian jobs” if the humanitarian intake is increased.
“As Peter was saying earlier today, many of them come to Australia from shattered areas of the world,” the prime minister said. “They are from dreadful, devastated, war-torn regions of the world.”
Besides being “illiterate in their own language,” Turnbull also said that many of these refugees who are seeking humanitarian visas have not completed high school.
The prime minister also said that a huge portion of them do not have any sets of English skills, according to ABC News.
However, Turnbull intended to put Dutton’s remarks into context. “That’s no fault of theirs. That’s why we’re reaching out to help them with compassion. That is not a basis for criticising them,” he said.
The prime minister explained that Dutton’s comments should be used as a basis for the government to take its job seriously in taking in a number of refugees so that they can settle in the country effectively.
Turnbull also labelled the Labor’s approach to immigration as “gesture politics,” agreeing with Dutton and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that its intention to double the yearly humanitarian intake would be expensive.
The price tag would likely be in billions that the opposition has not yet costed, he said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
On Tuesday, Dutton called the refugees “innumerate and illiterate” when asked what he thought about the opposition’s proposal of increasing Australia’s humanitarian intake.
Dutton has been known to not mince his words when it comes to the refugees seeking asylum, even going as far as saying that they have no place in Australia. He added that he would prefer that they be resettled in other countries or sent back home.