Thursday February 1, 2007 9:00am WST
For Immediate Release
"The Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews shows how boring, stayed and outdated his views are, and he shows that his peddling of the line of "suspiciousness" of boat arrivals is wholly derived from the attempts to delude Australians about the rights and status of boatpeople by 'His Master John Howard'," WA Rights group Project SafeCom concluded this morning, after the new Immigration Minister made his first statement about 'his new clients' speaking to ABC Radio, and after he clearly tried to defend the indefensible ASIO bungling of the security assessment of Muhammad Faisal, who was held on Nauru for more than five years before being given a permanent protection visa yesterday.
"Perhaps the Minister should take some history lessons to remind him of the fact that for more than two centuries people arrived by boat on Australian shores. Was the arrival the "first wave of boatpeople" suspicious, Mr Andrews? Was the sailing into European harbours by Jewish people fleeing Adolf Hitler fraught with suspicion?" spokesman Jack H Smit asked.
"The facts are then, Mr Andrews, that only since the Howard administration came to power, the arrival of boatpeople has been suspicious. It never was suspicious, Mr Andrews, the suspiciousness is in the eye of the beholders, and it is your manipulative government that has created this new xenophobic reality.
"Perhaps the biggest lesson you need to learn, Mr Andrews, is, that Australians have well and truly moved on from John Howard's xenophobia. They don't buy that line anymore, Mr Andrews - they have seen Cornelia Rau, Vivian Solon, and the massive bungling of your Department, and they are aching to see a new approach and a new policy that's human, real, open, accountable and embracing," Mr Smit concluded.
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]