Asylum seeker crisis worse now than under John Howard
By Ben PackhamÂ Herald-Sun, March 08, 2010
ASYLUM seekers are now arriving at a faster rate under Kevin Rudd than under the Howard government at the height of its refugee crisis.This is the phenomenon that John Derbyshire referred to as "Nice Guys Get Illegal Immigrants" in 2001.
Two unauthorised boats arrived in less than 24 hours over the weekend, carrying a combined 113 passengers.
The new arrivals will push Christmas Island detention centre to near capacity, leaving only 70 spare beds.
December to April is usually the off-season for people smugglers with monsoon conditions in the Timor Sea making the journey more perilous.
But 20 boats have arrived this year, carrying 1050 asylum seekers. That's an average of nine boats and 484 asylum seekers a month.
Under John Howard, the average rate of arrivals hit about seven a month. Average asylum seeker arrivals reached 459 a month in 2001.
"In the first nine weeks of 2010 we have had more boats arrive illegally than in the last six years of the Coalition Government," Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said.
Amid serious overcrowding on Christmas Island, immigration authorities are routinely transferring small numbers of "vulnerable" to the mainland without refugee visas.[More]