“The Australian mainland will be excised from the migration zone in a bid to deter asylum seeker boat arrivals, a move labelled by the Australian Greens as a stain on our national character…

Under the Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012, mainland Australia will join Ashmore Island, Cartier Islands, Christmas Island, and Cocos Islands out of the migration zone…

Greens leader Christine Milne slammed Labor for backing a plan they were strongly opposed to in 2006… Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said Labor was “doing all the Liberal Party’s dirty work” in “beating up on refugees, dog whistling on immigration and stripping away laws that protect the most vulnerable in our community”. Australia was contravening the United Nation’s refugee convention by discriminating against asylum seekers based on their mode of arrival, she said. The government was creating a “damaged generation” by keeping children in detention. “We are subjecting these children to child abuse, to institutionalised abuse,” Senator Hanson-Young told parliament.”

For full, original text visit: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1767116/Mainland-excision-bill-passes-Senate

“The entire Australian mainland has been excised from the migration zone in a bid to deter the arrival of asylum seekers…

The bill was supported by the Opposition, which says it is almost identical to legislation put forward by the Howard government in 2006, but the Greens predict the next generation of Australian politicians will be apologising for it… [T]he Greens and refugee groups say it strips asylum seekers of legal rights.

Greens amendments to allow for Human Rights Commission inspections, media access, and the removal of children from the Manus Island centre, all failed to pass. 

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says the bill will do nothing to stop people arriving by boat.  “It is going to cost people’s lives and damage people who are already suffering from such harm, this is a bad piece of legislation, an immoral piece of legislation,” she said. “[It is] not looking at why people are seeking asylum in the first place what is driving them to leave their countries. Deterrence has not and will not work.”

Greens leader Christine Milne says after apologies to the Indigenous children of the Stolen Generation and the children of forced adoptions, the Government should be warned. “In 10, 15, 20 years when there is a national apology to the children detained indefinitely in detention for the sole, supposed crime of seeking a better life in our country because they are running away for persecution with their families, not one of you will be able to stand up and say “Oh we didn’t, oh, it was the culture of the period’,” she said.

Amnesty International also says it is appalled by the decision.

“Until today, the Government’s policy of removing asylum seekers from the mainland and locking them up offshore was against Australian law,” Amnesty refugee campaigner Graeme McGregor said. “Now the Government has changed the law to suit their policies. This doesn’t change the fact that this is an inhumane, ineffective and expensive policy that ignores Australia’s responsibilities to people who need our protection.”

Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs says it discriminates against vulnerable people and penalises them for the way they arrive in Australia. She warns transferring asylum seekers to a third country may breach their human rights.

It is an about face for the Labor Party, which rejected the Howard government’s similar legislation in 2006. At the time, Labor MP Chris Bowen described the proposal to excise the mainland as “a stain on our national character”. But after introducing the bill last October, Mr Bowen, who was then the immigration minister, said he had changed his position…”

For full, original text, visit: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-16/parliament-excises-mainland-from-migration-zone/4693940

For a third news story, visit: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/immigration-labor-libs-beating-up-on-refugees/story-fni0xqrb-1226644812832

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