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Tuesday, 30 May 1989
Page: 3033

Senator JENKINS(8.18) —I think that Senator Alston and the Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs overestimate people, to a certain extent. People do appeal on compassionate grounds. If the Minister were to look at the statistics he would find that by far the vast majority of cases involve people who seek to come to Australia on a family reunion basis. We must all realise that every time we bring in a migrant on a skills basis, or on a business migration basis, or whatever, we are setting up moral, ethical and extremely difficult decisions for ourselves. Once we accept people, they are here. To deny such people the right to stay in Australia, based on circumstances which, as I stated in my amendment, would be manifestly unfair, unjust and oppressive, is extraordinary. This country takes in migrants, and migrants are people. I realise that the Government and the Opposition are not in favour of this amendment, which is headed `Fairness in Decisions', but many Australians will be disappointed by that decision.