Asylum debate needs positive approach

It's time for a new approach to dealing with asylum seekers who arrive here by boat.  Current and past policies have failed to deter boat arrivals and are enormously costly socially, and financially - and to human rights.  Both the government and opposition cling to the fallacy that severe treatment of asylum seekers will deter more people from coming here.  It is time to acknowledge that there is no easy way of solving this problem.  Both major parties need to change their approach.  Let us have debate based on facts, using moderate language.  

This

 is a worldwide and regional  problem and cannot be solved by one nation acting unilaterally.  Nations in a region must work together.  Engage countries in our region in constructive discussion on mutually beneficial ways of processing 

asylum

 seekers.  Attack the people smuggling trade and its sources, not the hapless young men who are inveigled into 

manning

 the boats.  Speedily process and place in the community the genuine refugees who have arrived here.The benefits of a more positive approach to 

dealing

 with asylum seekers would include a more humane and decent society and standard of public debate and the 

contribution made

 by new citizens strongly motivated to make a decent future for their families.

Pat Horan

Sebastopol

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