Australia Rejects Call to Open Borders, Soften Illegal Immigration Stand

MERAK, JAVA, INDONESIA - OCTOBER 16: Sri Lankan asylum seekers engage in a hunger strike after their boat broke down on the way to Australia's Christmas Island, at Cilegon on October 16, 2009 in Merak, Java, Indonesia. Around 260 asylum seekers set off from Malaysia on a large cargo boat …
Oscar Siagian/Getty

Australia will not soften its stand against illegal immigrants or refugees seeking asylum and government benefits, a report released on Wednesday shows.

Refugees who have been stopped at Australia’s borders are held in offshore detention centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island.

But rights groups and the left-wing Labor opposition have called on the government to open the doors and let them in, AFP reports.

The Australian Human Rights Commission detailed 31 recommendations it said would improve protections for offshore refugees as well as 30,000 others who arrived in Australia before the start of 2014, including fast-tracking their visa applications.

Canberra has rejected all of the recommendations, documents released by the Commission show. Australia is currently the only country in the world that mandates the strict detention of illegal aliens who are caught after they evade border forces.

In a recent address to the Australian people and future illegal aliens, Commander of Operation Sovereign Borders Major General Craig Furini warned the country’s strict immigration enforcement regime will continue.

“Under my command, Australia’s borders will stay closed to illegal migration,” Furini said. “If you attempt an illegal boat journey to Australia, you will be stopped and returned to your country of departure or your home country.”

“Australia’s borders are monitored, patrolled, and protected every day of the year and our border protection defenses are stronger than ever,” Furini continued.

Australia’s strict rules for asylum seekers who attempt to reach the country by boat are aimed at deterring others from making the same journey.

The United Nations and human rights groups have roundly condemned the government’s hardline approach to the nearly 900 refugees who remain on Nauru and Manus, but Canberra shows no sign of relenting.

Australia defends its policies as humanitarian in nature, saying hundreds of people drowned at sea trying to reach the country and to relax current laws will act as a magnet for people traffickers to resume their deadly trade.

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