US to ben­e­fit from refugees

The Saturday Paper - - Letters & Editorial -

Ray Hadley re­cently said the refugees go­ing to the

United States were dressed as if on a cat­walk (Ed­i­to­rial, “Talk of shame”, Septem­ber 30-Oc­to­ber 6). I won­der who Peter Dut­ton is speak­ing to when he replies, “We didn’t ask peo­ple to hop on the boats.” In this sen­tence he re­duces the ac­tions of des­per­ate peo­ple, the ma­jor­ity of whom have been ac­knowl­edged as refugees by the rules and reg­u­la­tions of his depart­ment, to peo­ple on a joy ride. It re­veals his at­ti­tude to hu­man rights and his stead­fast re­sis­tance to show­ing any sym­pa­thy for, and knowl­edge of, asy­lum seek­ers. Hav­ing a well-founded fear of per­se­cu­tion is ir­re­spec­tive of how well off you are. In re­al­ity, those with a bet­ter ed­u­ca­tion and em­ploy­ment are of­ten more aware of their hu­man rights and have the con­fi­dence to speak out when they are vi­o­lated. If they are tar­geted be­cause of this, they need to es­cape and be­come asy­lum seek­ers. They also be­come con­tribut­ing mem­bers of the com­mu­nity that wel­comes and ac­cepts them. Aus­tralia is missing out on such ci­ti­zens; our loss is the US’s gain.

– He­len Hill, Brunswick East, Vic

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