Well, the campaign period is winding down, and I have to work during the week, so I can’t be out doing face to face campaigning during the day, so I have decided to keep putting out videos on issues of importance to me in the campaign. Today’s video it’s about asylum seekers.

I have been interested in this subject since the Howard government started making a big issue of asylum seekers arriving by boat and attempting to emotionally affect my vote by lying about things like children being thrown from boats. Back then, I used to write long e-mails to the opposition leader to no affect. Now I put my research on film.

All data in my graph (below) are drawn from statistics available from the Department of Immigration fact sheets and annual reports. Data on costings comes from the current budget, and government records of mandatory detention offshore under the Howard government. Column #2 is the total number of visas issued in the humanitarian intake portion of the program. Column #3 is the total number of migrants to Australia, or the current quota for the last two years. Column #4 is the total number of persons held in mandatory detention at year end, and Column #5 is the percentage of migrants as a portion of the population.

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The values, when plotted, remain pretty stable and boring, except for the numbers held in mandatory detention, of which several key points must be made:

• It is not illegal to seek asylum in Australia, regardless of the manner by which you arrive
• It costs between 5 and 10 times (up to $500,000 per person) the amount to manage an asylum seeker offshore as it does onshore.
• Money wasted on treating people cruelly has exactly ZERO effect on the criminals that they pay to transport them to Australia. People smugglers are criminals, yes, but punishing their victims is not addressing the root cause.