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“As asylum seekers arriving by boat have reached Australia ahead of those who await confirmation of their humanitarian visas in their homelands, the mainstream media in Australia popularly represent those arriving by boat as ‘queue jumpers’ – a term used to invoke popular ideas about ‘fairness’. It is important to note that the formation of a queue as a method of assisting people is based on the principle that the first in is the first served, as would be seen in supermarkets and other places of non-urgent business. Katharine Gelber, a writer from the Journal of Australian Studies, has noted that the process by which people seek asylum would be more accurately likened to the urgency-based system of assistance as found in a hospital’s emergency room – “heart attacks are treated before sprained ankles”. Not only do formal procedures for applying for refugee status not exist as an option in many countries, but the idea that there may be a “queue” for humanitarian protection that asylum seekers should comply with serves to ignore the severity of the circumstances from which they come. Furthermore, the idea that asylum seekers arriving by boat may be gaining an advantage over others is ill-informed, in light of the fact that provisions under the ‘Migration act’ ensure that the unauthorised arrival of an asylum seeker may actually hinder their chances of successfully achieving their aims for humanitarian protection” – from an essay: ‘Boat People’ in the Mainstream Media:  http://snippetysnippet.wordpress.com/2012/10/28/boat-people-in-the-mainstream-media-an-essay/

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