Illusive Mind

The Unquestionable should be questioned

Monday, May 23, 2005

A Nation of Fear


I understand that words like, 'compassion' and 'moral responsibility' and even 'egalitarianism' mean little to the supporters of mandatory detention. But what is the great threat posed by illegal immigrants? Saying that they broke the law is not justification enough for the manner in which both Australian and non-Australian citizens are being treated.

Reactionaries cry out that a more compassionate policy such as putting illegal immigrants into the community would generate enormous economic burdens upon John Q. taxpayer that he shouldn’t have to pay. We are not dealing with hundreds of thousands of immigrants; in 1997 as many as 2,716 people were admitted into detention.

Of those 2,716 detainees a quarter were released in less than 2 weeks, half were released in less than 2 months and over three-quarters were released within 6 months.
The majority of people detained just so they can be let out again within six months. We are spending hundreds of millions dollars a year to capture as little as 679 people and needlessly detain people, sometimes Australians in the process.

As of 18th of May 2005, only 928 people are being held in detention. It would be cheaper to put them up in five star hotels. It is estimated that the cost of keeping a single person in detention ranges from $111 to $725 a day.



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