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2 + 2 = 3

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Philip Ruddock MP ┬░lo

Federal Member for Dundas Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

Electorate Parliament House

Tel: (06) 277 4343 Fax: (06) 277 2062

Tel: (02) 858 1011 Fax: (02) 804 6739

2 + 2 = 3

2+2=3, or so Minister for Immigration Gerry Hand would have us believe.

Only a Minister excusing his own incompetence in controlling illegal entry would argue, on the one hand that the numbers of illegal entrants has fallen, while at the same time threatening new and draconian legislation.

However, if one reads through the fine print, the new legislation is in fact no more than the present arrangements for illegal entrants to be taken into custody when apprehended. What will be new are provisions to allow release from custody while making further

applications for grant of permanent residence or to pursue refugee claims.

The Minister has also appeared to ignore frequent suggestions from the Opposition in relation to cutting off income support for illegal entrants and imposing sanctions on employers who knowingly engage illegal entrants. This can easily be addressed by ensuring that they do not have access to tax file numbers.

The issue of illegal workers cannot be addressed while the Government still issues this kind of authority to work and the Minister's resistance to this suggestion cannot be adequately explained.

In relation to the number of illegals currently in Australia, the numbers have in fact gone up, notwithstanding additional resources in the compliance area.

The Minister has claimed that a figure of 81,500 overstayers, even though this represents an overall increase in numbers from last year, is not too bad since there has been an increase in the number of travellers to Australia. -

The Minister however provides us with a clue that statistics in this area are notoriously unreliable.

He admits that the reduction in numbers is, in part a result of overstayers regularising their status. This correlates with the significant increase in the processing backlog for change of status applications, and the high number of on-shore approvals for grant of residence (17,485 last financial year).




- 2 -

The numbers of illegals are still probably grossly understated.

- There are still a large number of PRC nationals on temporary entry

permits who would otherwise have been classified as illegal.

- there are still a large number of applicants seeking asylum, many of whom would also be otherwise classified as illegal.

- there are still a large number of applications for grant of residence on shore who would otherwise be illegal.

Despite the Minister's boasts about tough and draconian legislation to control illegal entry, we are still faced with a significant, and largely unaddressed problem.

18 July 1992

Contact Philip Ruddock on Pager (02) 925 3911 # 25589