by Guy CaruanaNews Weekly
Asylum seekers I (letter)
, June 29, 2002
May I briefly clarify those points of my letter of June 1 which were commented upon by Dr. Michael Barr (NW
, June 15).
1. Australian and international law invariably reflect the accepted morality of the times. While the word has clear definitions in dictionaries, individual morality varies. Ultimately, morality is best served by strict adherence to laws by everyone. The worldwide trend in recent decades, as reflected in legislation and court decisions, has been the cheapening of human life.
2. A person who may have a valid claim to something, but uses an illegal method to achieve his objective, must be returned back to square one.
3. The criteria for "asylum seekers" and "refugees" are set by the United Nations organisation, not by popular opinion. Great difficulties arise when people come without papers and lie about themselves. I have little sympathy for such people.
4. While the Government's strategy may not be the only reason for the drastic reduction in illegal arrivals, the policy is likely to continue because (a) the organisers are still free; (b) several thousand potential arrivals are still in the pipeline; and (c) there are plenty of rickety old boats waiting to sail on their last perilous trip.Guy Caruana