Refugees dumped in favour of massive immigration intake
On the eve of World Refugee Day (June 20), Sustainable Population Australia (SPA) has criticised the Albanese Government for failing to deliver on its promise to expand the humanitarian intake to 27,000. In the recent budget, the government kept Australia in a holding pattern of 13,750 places.
According to SPA, refugees were dumped in favour of a massive immigration intake.
SPA national president, Ms Jenny Goldie, has called on Labor to increase the humanitarian intake to at least 20,000 and, at the same time, to cut non-humanitarian migration substantially.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2022, net overseas migration was 387,000 people.
“The humanitarian component is completely dwarfed by the overall intake of migrants,” says Ms Goldie.
“Yet even increasing the intake of refugees to 20,000 will barely make a dint in the global problem of 108 million displaced people, of whom 35 million are refugees.”
(A refugee is someone who has fled their country of origin and is unable or unwilling to return because of a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.)
“Clearly, we cannot take all 35 million refugees in the world today. What we can do, however, is increase the humanitarian intake while lifting foreign aid to help those countries currently bearing the brunt of displaced people crossing their borders seeking refuge, and to those countries from which they are fleeing.
“For instance, Kenya hosts one of the largest refugee populations in Africa, with over 520,000 refugees and asylum seekers. These include more than 287,000 from Somalia as well as 142,000 from South Sudan, 50,000 from DRC, and 31,000 from Ethiopia.
“Yet Kenya is itself a poor country without adequate resources to cope with so many extra people who are usually in need of food and shelter.
“We can help far more people if we direct our foreign aid to poorer countries which are currently absorbing those displaced for whatever reason, be it political or escaping the effects of climate-induced extreme weather events.
“A dollar spent in the country where refugees are will go at least a hundred times further in providing human welfare than the same dollar spent on setting that refugee up in an expensive country like Australia.
“Unfortunately, as the global population continues to expand and climate change bites, more and more people are likely to be displaced. To turn this around, rather than just treating the symptoms, we need more aid for family planning programs, and to lead by example by stabilising Australia’s population by reducing non-humanitarian immigration, and transitioning rapidly to net-zero emissions. Otherwise, we are merely putting a bandaid on a gaping wound.”