November 4th, 2010
11:29 AM ET

Boatloads of asylum seekers flood into Australia

In a 2009 file photo, Sri Lankan asylum seekers peer from their boat after being intercepted near Australia's Christmas Island.

Australian authorities on Wednesday intercepted two boats near Christmas Island carrying people seeking asylum, bringing the total number of people taken in this year to 5,547, Australia's ABC News reported Thursday.

The number of asylum seekers taken in during the current Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard now exceeds the record set in 2001 by John Howard's Liberal-National Coalition government, ABC said.

"Two more boats overnight - that's 116 for the year, it's 30 since the election," Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said, according to ABC. "This is yet another Labor stuff-up, yet another Gillard mess."

Gillard defenders pointed to Howard's similar record.

Asylum seekers arrive in Australia from South Pacific islands, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Iraq, Iran, Turkey and other countries, according to the Department of Immigration and citizenship.

Abbott's immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, also criticized the government's public release of training documents for immigration officials, calling them a "how-to" guide for passing Australia's asylum test.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen issued a statement saying the notes were released to comply with Australia's Freedom of Information Act, according to ABC.

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Filed under: Australia • Immigration • World
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Ron David

    These Tamils are very well organized and assisted by former members of the LTTE a Tamil terrorist organization with deep financial pockets. They are constantly looking to various western countries for asylum and social benefits.They are not interested in poor thirdworld countries to settle in. They have flooded Canada by the thousands, organizing ships to transport refugees. Canadas refugee laws are such that they have no choice but to accept anyone who sets foot in Canadian terrority be it land or sea.They keep alternating between Canada and Australia testing both countries weak refugee systems.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Tory

    White Kong. Please forgive my typos as I'm pecking this out on an iPhone with my index finger and my finger is bigger than the characters I'm trying to push. Funny you should mention we share some ideas, as I DO recall seeing your name on several posts that I apreciated. I don't try to be tuff or get anybody to join a club..... I only post here for a few reasons : I Love my Country and what America stands for, and I see people degrading and abusing Her every day. I also see good, hard working people getting screwed over, and judges that let it happen and reward the bad guys. And Finally, I see so many well intentioned, respectable Americans falling for the pack of lies they have been handed since they were born. It's no woder they can't tell the difference between friend or foe. If I can just wake up even a few to realize how we must stand up for OURSELVES and America, well that's why I post. I realize I'm a flawed human being, I make mistakes, I'm ignorent of many things and my spelling is terrible. But that won't stop me from fighting for what I believe to be good and honorable. I know my government has continally screwed up and killed a lot of inocent people, thousands. It's a horrible fact that I hate, but I know Americans are largly good law abiding citizens who in time of need would help any Body, any way they could. And it's high time we put the rest of the Planet on notice..... Stop trying to take us out, or we will return the same to you with three times the Pain. I am interested in what ever inlightenment you have to offer. And I WELCOME debate. Although I must admit my button-pushing finger is about spent. I will look for you all here and in the future. T

    November 4, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ron David

    Hers a link 400 Tamils recently just landede in Victoria Canada by ship and are currently being processed. They have all claimed refugee status including members of the LTTE a tamil terrorist organization. These Tamil terrorists have managed to exploit Canada's weak refugee laws to the fullest.

    November 4, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. WhiteKong78

    Everyone in America does need to wake up. Nobody wants to be called a bigot and liberals will toss out that charge when they feel their agenda is threatened. Republicans would be wise to see that there are bigots and xenophobes among their ranks. I guess my point is that America should welcome all people and have enough sense to realize that the reason people come here is because their native lands are oppressive and impoverished. I'm fine with muslims coming here as long as they realize America won't adopt the same sharia laws they were escaping.

    November 4, 2010 at 9:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tory

    Well said, WhiteKong. This has been an unusually cool group posting here tonight. Usually I fight alone against a throng of Airheads. It's been a pleasure. Best Regards, Tory

    November 4, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
  6. fred in brisbane

    what's this "flood" nonsense? Why this journalistic obsession with numbers and not the plight of the people it counts?

    A western democracy with the reputed strongest economy in the world, and Australia only resettled a paltry 6 000 refugees last year plus another 7 750 so called humanitarian cases – usually the relatives of refugees. What's wrong wityh this country which SAYS it values a "fair go"?

    November 5, 2010 at 1:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joel Wischkaemper

    The need today.. the need when this issue began... is for those people to stay home and fix their own country. Allowing those folks to enter and finally to dominate, will do little more than move the problems of the home country to Australia. Australia, the United States, Europe and Russia need a policy statement that is clear. NO. Stay home and fix your own country.

    November 6, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  8. equifax free credit report dispute

    It�s exhausting to seek out educated people on this matter, however you sound like you already know what you�re talking about! Thanks

    November 9, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
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