Australia immigration reforming receives support of opposition

Australia immigration reforming receives support of opposition
Published:  16 Aug at 3 PM
Australia’s lower house of parliament backed immigration changes intended to put asylum seekers off attempting to travel to the country by boat.

The changes would see asylum seekers transferred to remote outposts in the Pacific and housed in detention centres until their claims have been made. However, reopening these centres, which were last used prior to 2007, would cause some controversy as some rights groups have described them as “inhumane”.

The changes to Australia’s Migration Act, which the Prime Minister Julia Gillard put forward on Tuesday and were backed by the opposition following a lengthy debate, would give authorities the power to deport asylum seekers who land in the country by boat.

The alteration in the regulations is a dramatic U-turn from when the prime minister first came into power in 2007 and scrapped a similar ploy which was being used at the time.

The legislation received the support it needed two days after a government-installed expert panel recommended that something needed to be done to curb the increasing number of accidents seen on the waters around Australia and Indonesia which have resulted in over 600 deaths since late 2009.

After a number of heated exchanges, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen brought the debate to a close by vowing to carry out more work to fight against an increasing amount of people smuggling.