Are you illegal or are you Kamahl?

This morning’s brought forth some factual information about The Illegals. One might add in the descriptor ‘finally’ because for an extremely long time now, those who sought to provide some balance in the debate about asylum seekers would attempt to point out that the problem of boat people was decidedly underwhelmed by the numbers of other ‘illegals’.

So finally we have some stats for perusal:

The 58,400 foreign citizens hiding illegally among us easily outnumber the populations of Mildura or Shepparton – Victoria’s fifth and sixth biggest cities.

And they dwarf the 4700 asylum seekers who arrived by boat in 2010-11.

Documents released to the Herald Sun under Freedom of Information also reveal the biggest groups of illegals are Chinese, Americans, Malaysians, Britons and South Koreans.

More than half have been here for five or more years; 20,000 for a decade or more; and two in three have evaded authorities for more than two years. (The figures do not include visitors who overstay visas by less than a fortnight.)

Drat there was a neat little interactive map there earlier where one could hover over the green, yellow, red and purple dots so as to ascertain the exact precise numbers of ‘illegals’ originating from each country. I believe that there were quite a number of Dutch and Irish. If anyone can find it, I can’t. Perhaps there were a few complaints about it.

I don’t entirely buy into Dr Bob Birrell’s argument:

Dr Birrell said many of the 332,000 overseas students had expected to gain permanent residency once they finished their courses, only to discover that rule changes in 2010 meant this was more difficult, or impossible.

Dr Birrell is spouting from the Immigration Agent’s handbook, that those who study in Australia could expect permanent residency. The rorts and exploitation of young people especially in Melbourne via hairdressing and cooking ‘colleges’ is renown. This rorting and exploitation subsequently lead to the Labor government redefining what a ‘skills shortage’ meant, and it wasn’t hairdressers, cooks and piano tuners.


Singer Kamahl said if not for the generosity of one Immigration Department official, his career would have been unremarkable.
“If Canberra had its way, I would have been back in Malaysia as a singing tour guide, driving a bus in Kuala Lumpur,” he said from his Sydney home yesterday.

One might add, and what is wrong with being a singing tour guide in Kuala Lumpur? In fact, it might be a excellent future career move.

51 comments on “Are you illegal or are you Kamahl?

  1. Min, these are the only illegals I have come across. Back in my younger days, I had many scouse friends that came from Liverpool, England.

    Many would end up out at Villawood. Surprisingly most would be back within a year or two. Still illegal but many having married the right person. Funny these marriages did not last long, once they were back in Australia.

    If they had rounded them all up at that time, the building industry in the city centre would have been in great trouble.

    Most were good people and good workers but they were illegal and/or broke the law to come back.

    As far as I know, many are still here.

    I am aware that we have many Islanders that are in the position.

    Plain Packaging has passed both houses. There are the numbers for the MRRT.

  2. CU, it is the exploitation of these ‘illegals’ which is my concern. Stay in Australia and work as a prostitute. When one is ‘illegal’ then the person has little recourse to the law or else risk deportation.

  3. Min, I forgot about that side. Not only women, but others that are exploited in such places as cafes etc. There are also many that come under Education visas exposed to similar exploitation.

    There is also the problem that they can be used to under cut wages and conditions.

    Bronwyn Bishop just thrown out for refusing to withdraw. I do not think the Opposition is having a good day.

  4. CU, and for your part there are some wonderful people who have been illegal immigrants have lived in Australia for decades with no problems.

    That loop about marriages of convenience have now all been neatly tied up, one must now prove an ongoing relationship in spite of a wedding certificate. Yes Tongans featured largely in the numbers of illegal cousin in married is a Tongan. Rellies tend to arrive and not want to leave 😉

  5. Min, I am not so sure it is the end of the world that they stay. I feel the same would be true for those who come by boat.

    Is it South Africa that has an open door policy, with no assistance given, that has worked well for both parties.

    There would be no problem with people being exploited, if they were not illegal.

  6. CU, this gets us to the crux of the asylum seeker debate. People who have been found to be genuine refugees should be allowed to stay because although arriving ‘illegally’ are later found to be ‘legal’.

    However we have 60,000 people arriving ‘legally’ and then staying in Australia ‘illegally’.

    People going through normal migration channels have to jump through considerable hoops before being permitted to emigrate. IF a person could just get on a ‘plane with a tourist visa and then stay indefinitely then the system becomes chaotic and open to considerable exploitation…cheap seasonal workers and brothels.

  7. One might add, and what is wrong with being a singing tour guide in Kuala Lumpur? In fact, it might be a excellent future career move.

    Why are people so unkind?

  8. The opposition immigration shadow minister Scott Morrison, when asked by the press

    Journo:What do you think about parliament sitting next week?

    Morrison: Why?
    What is the reason/point?

    Poor Scott M the journo had to inform him that his leader Tony Abbott had written to the PM calling for parliament to be extended. Yes the journos had been told about this stunt but not the shadow cabinet, yet again!

  9. Sue, poor Scott M full stop….

    Lurking down in the middle of one of the reports on the new deal with Indonesia is and I think VIP, is the fact that Indonesia is going to allow 3
    Australian vessels into Indonesian waters, so as to intercept people smugglers. This might not seem much but it’s a huge step forward in cooperation with Indonesia on this issue.

  10. I would assume that many of those who are here illegally are only illegal because of a small point of law. Why is the law so inflexible?

  11. Interesting..and applicable to many other issues too I should imagine.

    It follows a previous Murdoch research project that found that prejudiced people need to be provided with the correct information several times before it is absorbed.

    Senior psychology lecturer Dr Anne Pedersen, who supervised the study by Murdoch Honours student Jared Croston, said it showed the importance of the media in educating the public about these issues.

    “We know it takes time to get prejudiced people to accept the truth so it is vital that the media – where most of them get their information from – present the facts accurately,” she said.

  12. Roswell, not entirely a small point of law. Those who arrive by air do so with valid visas, student, tourist. For example a student visa allows a person temporary residence status for the duration of their course, but what happens if the person decides not to pursue that course but stays in Australia anyway. They are therefore outside the terms and conditions of their permit to reside in Australia.

    Unless such people are deported it becomes a very substantial pull factor – as was seen by the shonky training colleges and exploitation of young people – gain temporary residency with a ‘promise’ of permanent residency.

  13. Min,
    That link to the article on Prejudice and Myths Clouds View of Asylum Seekers has gone viral which is, I believe a good sign. How true, people believe only what they see written before them rather than trusting what is in their hearts.

  14. This type of stuff just makes me sick, more immigrant and ‘illegals’ bashing, this time focussing on those horrible overstayers.

    Imagine, 60,000 or so people in a population of 21 million, sucking the life out of our country they are! Blah blah blah.

    And at the same time, the not so subtle pressure of the baby bonus ensures lots more ‘legal’ little Aussies are being produced at great expense.

    We are a mean country.

  15. Hi Christine Says Hi 🙂 Wonderful to see you here again.

    A bit of the reason for my topic was to point out what a pittance is the few who arrive by boat are compared with ‘illegals’ who arrive by air. Just trying to locate the stats for these is a task in itself hence the reason that I suspect that an FOI application was needed. For once in a blue moon has done some reasonable research.

    Whereas the vast majority of people who arrive by boat are found to be genuine refugees, only around 40% of those arriving by air are found to be ‘genuine’. Yet huge amounts of money, time and effort is spent on the boat arrivals yet little is ever said about the real ‘illegals’..those arriving by air.

  16. A bit of the reason for my topic was to point out what a pittance is the few who arrive by boat are compared with ‘illegals’ who arrive by air.”

    While the people who arrive by boat may be few they are a large percentage of our asylum intake. We only take in 14,000 refugees/year, so anyone who comes by boat is denying a place to someone in a camp somewhere who has no money to pay a smuggler. I do not think it is a good idea to turn our asylum quota system into a boat race.

    Huge amounts of money are now being spent on boat arrivals because Rudd abolished the Pacific solution.

  17. The “Pacific Solution” was actually illegal under international treaties and conventions Australia has voluntarily signed.

    If we don’t want to follow the legalities of what we sign up for, why sign up?

    Oh yeah, because it “looks” so much better.

  18. That is a good point. We only had 6 boat people in detention centers in 2007 and we now have 6,000 because of the ALP and its supporters.

    You lot have the record for the most people locked up and the most money spent locking refugees up.

    You even wanted to start a people trading scheme and post pictures on Youtube of the screaming refugees being sent to Malaysia.

  19. @Min:

    My comments were really about the ‘news’.com reporting more than what you had written, sorry, I wasn’t seeing clear through the red, lol.

    I agree re the persecution of those arriving ‘by boat’. It’s a small problem which has been fostered in the public imagination to feed the vote winning xenophobia at the heart of Australian foreign policy ~ the same foreign policy which up until the 1970s could be described in just three words: “White Australia Policy”.

    Like “Workchoices”, the word is dead, buried and cremated, but the practices linger on in the popular imagination of a large part of our insular and poorly educated populace. In other words, they’ve just called it something else.

    The sickening thing is really that as far as refugees go, Australia does a good job once people are settled (compared with most other countries), providing a varuiety of assistance to ensure people have at least a chance.

    My father came here as a refugee in the days before such assistance was available, and it is wayyyyy better now, and so it should be.

    Re the overstayers, as in the US, many of them are working for Australians, often in the agricultural sector.

    We’d do far better finding them and giving them long term work visas than spending a gazillion dollars a year urging people to pop out kids at a rate of knots.

    Even if we are nice to refugees, and overstayers, the fact remains that *most* will still want to go elsewhere, hopefully within reach of returning home or seeing friends and relatives again one day. Australia is very often a ‘second choice’ country for desperate people, which is understandable. It’s a very long way from everywhere else.

    When we hear of boats carrying 49 or so people seeking asylum here, we might remember that boatloads of desperate people, sometimes up to 500, land every day in Europe, and as far afield as Canada.

  20. @Neil of Sydney. That is factually incorrect. There were thousands of people in detention throughout the Howard years, many of them children. I provided figures and sources for this last time you brought this lie up.

  21. There were thousands of people in detention throughout the Howard years, many of them children.”

    Yes and faced with a problem he did something about it. Labor also has the record for the most children locked up so I am not sure why you are bringing up Howard.

    I think Howard removed children in detention in June 2005 and moved them into community facilities but Labor and their supporters have locked children up again.

    I am not sure what to do about visa overstayers. they are breaking the law. Do we want a country without laws?? But I am sure a large number of them are a benefit to Australia.

    But we definitely should be taking more refugees. 14,000 is way too low.

  22. Between 1999 and 2003, over 2000 children, mostly with family members, were held inside immigration detention centers commissioned by the Australian government.

    Immigration detainees were incarcerated in one of the Australian immigration detention facilities on the Australian mainland, or on Manus Island or Nauru as part of the Pacific Solution. The detention facilities were managed by the private company, Global Solutions Limited.

    On 6 August 2004, the High Court of Australia handed down its decision in the case of Behrooz v Secretary Of The Department Of Immigration And Multicultural And Indigenous Affairs and held that the harsh conditions of detention did not render the detention unlawful.

    In 2006 the federal government made a $400,000 compensation payout to an 11-year-old Iranian boy for the psychological harm he suffered while being detained in Woomera and Villawood detention centres between 2000 and 2002.

    Dr Sev Ozdowski OAM Human Rights Commissioner of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) held an inquiry into mandatory detention of children who arrived without a valid visa over the period 1999-2002 (with updates where possible – the report was completed in April 2004) . The vast majority of children arrived and were put into mandatory detention facilities with their families for indefinite periods of time with no real opportunity to argue their case before independent tribunal or court. The inquiry found that between 1 July 1999 and 30 June 2003, 2184 children were detained after arriving in Australia seeking asylum without a visa. Approximately 14 % of those children came to Australia alone (unaccompanied children). Most of them came from Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. Almost 98 percent of the Iraqi children were recognised as refugees;

    The inquiry found that children detained for long periods of time were at a high risk of suffering mental illness. Mental health professionals had repeatedly recommended that children and their parents be removed from immigration detention. The inquiry found that the Australian government’s refusal to implement these recommendations amounted to “..cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of those children in detention”.

    The inquiry also found that many basic rights outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child were denied to children living in immigration detention.

    ***The key recommendations of the Inquiry were that children with their parents be released immediately into the community and that detention laws should be amended to comply with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Howard government released the children and introduced limited changes to Migration Act 1958 as a result of the report.

    I do hope that this is understandable, that children were only released from detention as a consequence of of the Inquiry and not due to the Christmas spirit of good will to all men.

  23. Well then why are we locking children up again??? Does not the change Howard made to the migration act in 2005 no longer apply???

    It should be noted that Labor has the record for the most children locked up at one time. Labor managed to “achieve” over 1,000 children locked up.

  24. Neil, people are in mandatory detention for health and identity checks. For example a number of people were identified as being lepers, plus a number with tuberculosis. We clearly cannot just release people immediately into the community minus these checks.

  25. Been out of touch the last few days & not up on the detail of this, but what’s the chance of this being turned into an “it’s all Labor’s fault” beatup? Coming from the murdoch crew, it’s the first thing I thought of.

  26. I remember Howard being abused for locking children up. He eventually released them into community detention. Labor has created a record with over 1,000 locked up at one time.

    Where are all the people who said Howard was nasty for locking children up?? I still do not understand how Labor gets away with such hypocrisy. It would appear that the ALP is breaking the law since Howard changed the migration act in 2005.

    And I do not believe they have so many locked up because of the slowness of heath checks.

  27. Neil, how many are locked up now. What length of time have they been locked up for.

    It is my understanding most have been

    The rest is ancient history.

    Yes, Mr. Howard was abused for locking up children, abuse he earned.

    There were children suffering severe illnesses that they refuse to release.

    Yes, the Labor government also deserves to be criticised for keeping people locked up longer than necessary.

    I do not believe that there would be any on this site that would disagree with you, except both would criticise all recent governments.

    Yes, Labor did attempt top make matters a little better, but far from enough.

    The children and their families are being released quicker now.

    Neil, what is really your complaints.

    Australians in general need a kick up the back side for the way they encourage both sides of politics to ill treat refugees.

    Yes, we as Australians have little to be proud of.

  28. Neil, what is really your complaints.”

    The hypocrisy of ALP supporters who abused the crap out of Howard for locking children up and who are now silent when Labor has even more locked up. In fact in June 2005 Howard passed legislation to remove children from detention so why are they in detention??? Community detention was what Howard did after June 2005.

    In the months after the announcement, a record high of over 1,000 kids were in detention, including over 400 unaccompanied minors. As we reach June 30, 2011, many of us were hoping to celebrate the end of our policy of detaining children. Unfortunately, this is not so as the policy of mandatory detention demands that children are still detained as a first resort.

  29. Neil, so you are arguing to an end to any form of mandatory detention for children. Therefore how do you propose to make health and security checks. Many people come from countries where diseases now mostly eradicated such as polio and tuberculosis are still prevalent.

  30. “The hypocrisy of ALP supporters who abused the crap out of Howard for locking children up and who are now silent ”

    Neil, did you read my comment. Where are the people on this site that supports what Labor has done.

    There has been a very slight improvement, but much more needs to be done.

    What we do not have is very young children, critically ill not being released, as under Howard.

    Read the whole comments, not cherry pick bits that support your arguments.

    You are creating a straw argument, then attempting to demolish it.

  31. I guess they would be checked quickly and then released.

    If it is as difficult to do heath and security checks as you are implying, why did “the left” bash the crap out of Howard for having children in detention???

    In fact it is worth mentioning again but in June 2005 Howard released children into community detention which is a little known fact.

  32. In 2004 HREOC published A last resort? The report of a national inquiry into children in immigration detention, which was highly critical of the mandatory detention of children. The inquiry found that ‘Australia’s immigration laws, as administered by the Commonwealth, and applied to unauthorised arrival children create a detention system that is fundamentally inconsistent with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).[56] The inquiry further found that children in long term immigration detention were at risk of serious mental harm and that failure to remove children from detention together with their parents constituted cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment.

    The Howard Government rejected the findings and recommendations of the report and in June 2004 reaffirmed its commitment to the policy of mandatory detention, including that of children.


    Prior to 2005, hundreds of children and their family members were detained in remote immigration detention centres, some for months or even years. Most of these children had arrived by boat and were seeking asylum in Australia.

    In 2005, the Migration Act was amended to affirm ‘as a principle’ that a minor should only be detained as a measure of last resort. Now, children are no longer held in Australia’s high security immigration detention centres. However, children are still held in low security immigration detention facilities. These include immigration residential housing in Sydney and Perth, immigration transit accommodation in Melbourne and Brisbane and various ‘alternative places of detention’ on Christmas Island and the mainland.

    Note the definition of “immigration detention facilities” there Neil. Children are said to be detained, even if it is in community housing…

    Click to access immigration-detention-statistics-20111031.pdf

    As at 31 October 2011, there were 370 children (aged under 18 years) in immigration detention facilities and alternative
    places of detention. No children are detained in an immigration detention centre.

    Still not good enough, but there’s your difference between your hero Howard, and the present government…

  34. Neil, it’s not possible that Howard cleaned out the detention centers because there was an election coming up, is it?

    It wasn’t like Howard to pull a few political maneuvers at election times, was it now? 😉

  35. Min,

    An interesting follow-up piece by Paul Syvret in the Courier Mail to yesterday’s story…

    Irony lost in cry to deport visa overstayers, asylum seekers

    IRONY and the internet seldom mix well. Throw in blog comments from readers on a divisive and highly charged topic such as immigration and you have a recipe for monumental misunderstanding.

    Take, for example, the following online post from PeterH of Burleigh in response to The Courier-Mail’s front page story yesterday about the almost 60,000 illegal immigrants currently living in Australia:

    “How terrifying! Deport them all. Or jail them forever. I’ve always felt the cold hand of fear creep up my spine when walking through the Valley and they were all … illegal immigrants (not blind-drunk born-and-bred locals).

    “The two times I’ve been violently assaulted, they were almost illegally from overseas but sort of weren’t. At all. These semi vampire/werewolf/zombies from overseas are so violent and brutal. They commit all murders, all rapes and cause all car accidents and parking offences.

    “Let’s bring back good ol’ burning at the stake. I’m old enough to remember the terrible horrors of the Vietnamese boatpeople. Oh, the hundreds of good-hearted Anglo Saxon Queenslanders who died through that invasion. Now we all eat in their restaurants and survive the experience. Strange.”

    Peter is clearly practising the great Australian art of “taking the p—“, as should be clearly evident in his references to werewolves and zombies, parking offences and Vietnamese restaurants.

    In effect he is parodying the xenophobia of those who scream and froth about assimilation, perceptions of ethnic violence and the misconception that immigrants are somehow a drain on society

    Interesting fact in the article: “In fact, there are more illegal immigrants from the US alone living in Australia right now than there are asylum seekers currently waiting to have their claims for protection and refugee status processed.

  36. Yes it’s like the other jaw dropping stat that the media in their beatups and governments in their denigration of the marginal deliberately suppress, most illegal immigrants are Christians.

  37. Still not good enough, but there’s your difference between your hero Howard, and the present government…”

    The main difference is that there were 6 people in detention in 2007 and we now have 6,000 thanks to your vote at the 2007 election.

    There were children in detention centers last year

    “This week during Senate estimates, officials from the Immigration Department have confirmed 1073 children remain in detention centres around Australia and on Christmas Island. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen confirmed yesterday that 600 children were yet to be assessed by immigration authorities. We’re back to the same numbers in October 2010, when the minister announced the government would release ”significant numbers of children and vulnerable family groups’ into community-based accommodation”

    You only need to do a google search to show your link is very very recent. Maybe at 31 Oct 2011 there were none but there have been lots from 2008-2010. Labor has removed them because people are complaining.

  38. Still no camparison with the sickening Howard method of keeping children in IDCs for years on end 🙄

    As I said Neil, not yet good enough, but a ship load better than your heroes!

  39. Well labor has been in 4 years. They are only doing something now because people complained.

    So we had children locked up in 2008,2009, 2010 and the first half of 2011 until people started complaining.

    “Despite it being a blatant lie, since 2007, successive Labor Immigration ministers have publicly declared that no children were in detention.

    They hid behind the technicality that detention facilities were not actually gazetted as “detention centres”. They were “Alternative Places of Detention” or “APODs”. If you call the Leonora detention centre, staff even answer the phone with “Leonora APOD.”

    But Phosphate Hill, where children and families are held on Christmas Island is a detention centre. Leonora is a detention centre. So are the misnamed Transit Accommodation Centres in Brisbane and Melbourne and the fenced off motels in Darwin and Brisbane.

    So October’s announcement that Labor will release families and minors from detention was astonishingly brazen, even for the masters of spin. Labor was pushed into the announcement to head off the possibility of The Greens moving a resolution in parliament allowing them to claim credit for getting children out.”

  40. Solidarity 😯
    Oooh you communist you Neil 😆

    Interesting that you’re now railing against the very same “community detention” you were earlier praising Howard for introducing 🙄

  41. Well labor has been in 4 years. They are only doing something now because people complained.

    A lot of people complain about you, Neil. :mrgreen:

    What are you going to do about it?

  42. I suggest we build detention centres for all those illegal immigrants who are Christians. They are corrupt and can’t be trusted. They are greedy types. They have no respect for other cultures, especially ours.

  43. Pingback: Tweets – Monday 21 November 2011 « CDU Law and Business Online

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