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March 8, 2013 – Australian visas may be farther from the reach of asylum seekers in Australia today.
After a Sri Lankan asylum seeker was charged this week for indecently assaulting a student in Sydney, Scott Morrison, immigration spokesman of federal opposition leader Tony Abbott, has pushed for the freezing of bridging visas for asylum seekers.
Abbott also supports the idea and says that it is in no way a form of racial vilification. He adds to say that people whose status is yet to be verified need to be monitored by the government. Additionally, the government has to know where they are and that the government has to maintain the control of the system.
Meanwhile, cabinet minister Penny Wong says that the decision to grant bridging visas to asylum seekers does not intend to create an underclass in the community. She also said that the current government has exceeded what the Howard government had done under the temporary protection visa regime.
“There is no easy answer, and anyone who says there is, is wrong. No one can forget the tragedies we have seen in this area in past years,” said the senator.
The issue of asylum seekers coming to Australia by boat and risking their lives with a view to obtaining Australian visas, remains a contentious issue that is hotly debated by politicians.