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Rebel MPs Wreck Australia's Tough Immigration Plans
The Telegraph (UK) ^ | 8-15-2006 | Nick Squires

Posted on 08/14/2006 6:58:37 PM PDT by blam

Rebel MPs wreck Australia's tough immigration plans

By Nick Squires in Sydney

(Filed: 15/08/2006)

A revolt by backbench MPs forced the Australian government to abandon a controversial immigration law yesterday.

The legislation would have meant that asylum seekers were sent to a detention centre on the remote South Pacific island of Nauru while their applications were processed.

Opponents said that asylum seekers, including women and children, would be kept behind razor wire for months or years in a refugee equivalent of Guantanamo Bay.

John Howard, the prime minister, had to take the humiliating step of withdrawing the legislation, knowing that although it had passed the lower House of Representatives it would be blocked in the upper house.

"The whole Bill is out," said Mr Howard, acknowledging the biggest parliamentary defeat of his government's 10 years in office. But he claimed: "I don't feel humiliated - I'm disappointed."

Mr Howard had pleaded with wavering MPs from his coalition government not to vote against the Bill but, in a rare display of rebellion, his appeals were ignored.

At least two government senators planned to defy Mr Howard in the upper house, where the government has a one-seat majority. Also key to the Bill's defeat was Steve Fielding, an MP from the minority Family First Party, who said it was a "ludicrous" attempt to shirk Australia's international obligations.

The New York-based group Human Rights Watch said: "It is shocking that the Australian government could be so enthusiastic about establishing detention centres on far-flung islands to try to evade obligations under international law."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aliens; australias; immigration; liberals; mps; plans; rebel; tough; wreck

1 posted on 08/14/2006 6:58:39 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

The lesson here is to not accept any international law that compels you to accept asylum seekers.


2 posted on 08/14/2006 7:15:35 PM PDT by Aetius
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To: blam
People who are stating that the measures would be racist should understand that they are for supposed refugees, not immigrants.

Still, Australia still has to face a history of racism toward Australian aborigines, and pro-northernEurope, and then pro-Europe immigration policies.

3 posted on 08/14/2006 8:08:32 PM PDT by Jedi Master Pikachu ( http://www.answersingenesis.org)
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To: blam
At least two government senators planned to defy Mr Howard in the upper house, where the government has a one-seat majority. Also key to the Bill's defeat was Steve Fielding, an MP from the minority Family First Party, who said it was a "ludicrous" attempt to shirk Australia's international obligations.

The New York-based group Human Rights Watch said: "It is shocking that the Australian government could be so enthusiastic about establishing detention centres on far-flung islands to try to evade obligations under international law."

And the Australian people be damned.

4 posted on 09/06/2006 10:25:25 AM PDT by Razz Barry
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