Wow, how the awful events in Paris have put things in perspective i.e. what an insular and sadistic political class we have in Australia.
France announces – days after the attacks in Paris – it will house 30,000 Syrian refugees over the next couple of years. Here, the Liberals keep even the children of asylum seekers in concentration camps and Coalition MPs hysterically call for closing the borders.
In Australia (well, hundreds of kilometres off the coast of Australia) determining refugee status often take years despite the fact that between 70 and 100 per cent of asylum seekers arriving by boat at different times have been found to be refugees. The US Asylum Office has a stated goal to produce decisions in about 100 days.
In the face of hysteria about the movement of people escaping war, the truth is that the utterly overwhelming majority of people in this world are not insane killers. Even the libertarian/conservative US outfit the Cato Institute has clearly outlined the facts:
Of the 859,629 refugees admitted from 2001 onwards, only three have been convicted of planning terrorist attacks on targets outside of the United States, and none was successfully carried out. That is one terrorism-planning conviction for every 286,543 refugees that have been admitted. To put that in perspective, about 1 in every 22,541 Americans committed murder in 2014. The terrorist threat from Syrian refugees in the United States is hyperbolically over-exaggerated and we have very little to fear from them because the refugee vetting system is so thorough.
… the thought comes to my mind very simply: if somebody knocks on your door at three in the morning, and they’re wet, they’re bleeding, they’ve been shot at, and they’re frightened, what do you do? I think there’s only one answer: you open the door, and you give them shelter, independently of the cost-benefit analysis, independently of the chance that they may harm you.
The only sure way out of this situation is to respond with humanity and solidarity.