Broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 3 Mar 2013.
The ugly side of party politics was on show again this week as fallout continued in the wake of a report that a male Sri Lankan asylum seeker had allegedly assaulted a young woman in Sydney.
Federal Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison called for special “behaviour protocols” for asylum seekers released into the community on bridging visas – as though all asylum seekers were potential criminals, perhaps even terrorists.
But Victorian Liberal backbencher Russell Broadbent disagreed, saying there should “never be special categories of laws for different categories of people” and the rule of law should apply to all equally.
The facts speak for themselves. Department of Immigration figures released on Thursday show that asylum seekers living in the community on bridging visas are about 45 times less likely to be charged with a crime than members of the general public. And not a single refugee to Australia has ever been found to be a terrorist.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.