Operation Sovereign Borders: Over 900 Days Since Last Migrant Boat Reached Australia

Australian Government
Australian Government

It has been over 900 days since the last illegal migrant boat reached Australia, according to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, underlining the success of the Commonwealth’s uncompromising “stop the boats” policy.

“We have now gone over 900 days without a successful people smuggling venture coming to Australia”, he said. “That is a remarkable achievement and one on which we can never be complacent.

“We stand for security, for borders with integrity. Look around the world at the grief and the turmoil that you’ve seen through lax border protection … Australians must know that their government and their government alone determines who comes to Australia. That is their sovereign right. That is our sovereign right as a nation.”

Operation Sovereign Borders, introduced by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in 2013, sees smuggler-boats intercepted at sea and migrants either returned to where they came from or taken to offshore processing centres. Migrants found to be legitimate asylum seekers have been settled in third countries at Australia’s expense.

Some asylum seekers resettled under this policy have returned to their home countries after their host states failed to furnish them with the lifestyle they had hoped to attain from Australia.


By contrast, the European Union (EU) continues to transport migrants intercepted at sea to EU soil, and most migrants, including Berlin terrorist Anis Amri, are not held while their asylum applications are processed.

Consequently, illegal sea crossings to Italy reached record-breaking levels in 2016, with total sea crossings for 2015 estimated at well over a million by United Nations agencies.

The BBC claims that, at their peak, people-smugglers brought 18,000 illegal migrants to Australia by boat. Most came from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Sri Lanka, by way of Indonesia. The journey was extremely dangerous, with Australia’s tough love “stop the boats” policy prompted by a drowning disaster off Christmas Island in 2010.

Thousands of migrants have drowned on European sea crossings, too, prompting Mr. Abbott to advise EU leaders that “If you want to stop the deaths [and] you want to stop the drownings, you have got to stop the boats”.

Speaking in Prague, the London-born politician said that “Effective border protection is not for the squeamish, but it is absolutely necessary to save lives and to preserve nations. The truly compassionate thing to do is: stop the boats and stop the deaths.”

Abbott also warned that the European migrant crisis was beginning to take on the appearance of a “peaceful invasion”, and that “Many of those taking to boats across the Mediterranean or clamouring at Europe’s gates look set to join an angry underclass. Too many are coming not with gratitude but with grievance, and with the insistence that Europe should make way for them.”

Abbott argued that, in time, the discontented migrant population could come to represent an “existential threat” to the continent.

“Some of Turkey’s leaders have even urged Muslims to take back parts of Europe,” he said, “and among the would-be migrants are soldiers of the caliphate bent on mayhem”.

Breitbart London reported that Islamic State has begun sponsoring migrant journeys in exchange for a commitment to join them in the struggle against the West.


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