Australia’s famously tough border controls were reinforced overnight when a group of illegal immigrants from Sir Lanka were flown out of the country and returned to their point of departure.
The group had arrived on Monday by boat. They were intercepted close to the remote Indian Ocean archipelago of the Cocos Islands, about halfway between Australia and Sri Lanka. The arrival marked the first breach of Australia’s border security in two years.
ABC News reports that the intended asylum seekers included seven children and babies among the 12 arrivals
According to ABC, a local resident said he saw the group board a mini-bus with covered windows before being loaded onto a plane at the local airport.
“It was all done specifically under the cover of darkness,” he said. “The way they positioned the vehicles was to obscure as much as possible.
“We all live on the runway basically, it’s hard to sneak a big white plane in without anyone knowing.
“There’s babies in there, less than one year old. It made it a lot more human.”
The last asylum seeker boat reported to arrive in Australia was a vessel of 157 people intercepted in July 2014 near Christmas Island. The passengers spent a month offshore on an Australian Customs ship before being transferred to the Curtin Detention Centre in the Northern Territory. They were then flown to the South Pacific island of Nauru in mid-2014 to have their claims assessed.
As Breitbart London has reported, Australia is the only country in the world to successfully tackle the problem of migrant boats. It does this by saying ‘no’ to irregular seafaring arrivals, while at the same time admitting genuine refugees through an orderly process of entry based on a points system.
The government video below highlights the Australian approach:
Put simply, the Australian government refuses outright to accept any illegal migrant boats. It also enforces a policy of tow-backs, or turning boats around and sending them back to their point of departure before they enter Australian waters. Those who fail to comply are removed from their vessels (which are then sunk by naval gunfire) and in some cases placed in government-supplied lifeboats and sent on their way with provisions for the return journey.
The opposition Labor Party responded to the latest return by attacking the secrecy of the operation, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, with immigration spokesman Richard Marles challenging the approach.
“The Government needs to provide an assurance it has not returned anyone to harm,” Mr Marles said. “Australia has international obligations that this Government simply can’t ignore. It is not good enough to try and dismiss this as an operational matter.”
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