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Australian Political Debate
Sudanese reugees 
6th-Oct-2007 07:51 am
Kevin Andrews announced recently that the number of Sudanese refugees, as well as other African people, will not be accepted into Australia as easily as other nationalities because they are having difficulties assimilating.

In other words, these people are coming from a country so ravaged by war, poverty, and civil strife that most of an average 21st century society is alien to them. Such everyday things as electricity are a mystery to many of them. They have been left by the horrors of life in Sudan without even the basic tools to cope with modern society.

So obviously it is our duty make sure they can't leave that horrible place.

Mr Andrews apparently does not understand his portfolio. The idea of taking on refugees is to help people most in need, not to gather more model citizens. If these people aren't assimilating properly, we need to put extra effort into helping them to assimilate. These people need help, and Mr Andrews is doing his best to ensure they don't get any.

And the bottom line is, there is no evidence to suggest that the percieved problems with Sudanese immigrants are actually true. Mr Andrews certainly hasn't produced any actual evidence to show that Sudanese people are in more trouble with the law than anyone else.

On the other hand New England MP Tony Windsor says a large number of Sudanese refugees have settled in his electorate, and have been able to integrate into the community.

"You can't expect them to be modelled, balanced citizens, when they've come from the backgrounds that some of these people have come from," he said.

And Queensland premier Anna Bligh says The highest proportion of Sudanese immigrants in Queensland is in Toowoomba.

Citing police data, Ms Bligh said Sudanese refugees are not involved in crime any more frequently than any other sector of the Australian community.

"Those Sudanese refugees are actually under-represented in the crime statistics," she said.

"What that tells me is that these people are law-abiding citizens, by and large that they are not committing crimes at a rate any higher than the average citizen from any other part of the world."

But Pauline Hanson said refugees carry disease and escalate crime.

"Do you want to see increased crime on our streets? Do you want to see increased violence?" she said.

"Do you want to see your daughter or a family member end up with aids or anyone for that matter?"

At the core of the problem is that Sudanese people are so easily identifiable, being so tall, thin, and unusually dark-skinned. That makes them stand out as different. Thirty-three per cent of Australia's Sudanese population lives in Melbourne - many in the outer south-eastern suburb of Noble Park.

The suburb straddles two federal seats, both held by Labor: Bruce and Isaacs.

At the last election in 2004, Labor suffered swings against it of 3 per cent and 5 per cent respectively. Isaacs is a marginal seat for Labor, which holds it by 1.5 per cent.

Yesterday, federal Justice Minister David Johnston was campaigning alongside the Liberal candidate for the seat, right outside Noble Park's train station.

A police van was set up there on Saturday after the bashing death of 18-year-old Sudanese refugee Liep Gony. The van is staffed 24 hours a day.

Looks like more cynical votes grabbing by a government that has never been afraid of a bit of racial profiling to get ahead. Howard's Liberal has won government before by targeting individual seats, allowing them to win a majority of seats even though the majority of votes nationally are against them. There's little doubt that this is more of the same. Playing with peoples' lives just to get a little bit more power.
5th-Oct-2007 10:59 pm (UTC)
Come of this was discussed on brisneyland yesterday. Since AIDS was mentioned I did a very quick google search for the percentage of the population that had AIDS in both Australia and Sudan. From this site the percentage of Adult Sudanese population living with HIV/AIDS is 1.6% (Population of 40,187,486) and from < a href="http://www.avert.org/ausstatg.htm"> this</a> website the Australian percentage was 1.3%... Just thought that was interesting.

Until recently I was living in an area that is listed as having a high level of Sudanese refugees and migrants and not once in the years I was living there was there a problem.
6th-Oct-2007 05:33 am (UTC)
That is disgusting. I'll bet you that Hanson knows this throughly well, and is just using it as a convenient racist assumption to rile up her potential supporters.
9th-Oct-2007 02:23 am (UTC)
I think Ms Handson wants to have a second boyfriend from Africa that will make her feel nice. She is jeleous because the man she is with now is not doing the job well.
6th-Oct-2007 12:36 am (UTC)
Can I just ask you use the word integrate and not assimilate. There's a big difference and assimilation refers to a fairly disgraceful and thoroughly discredited aspect of Australia's past.
6th-Oct-2007 02:03 am (UTC) - just an aside..
There's a big difference and assimilation refers to a fairly disgraceful and thoroughly discredited aspect of Australia's past.

as offensive as the term is.. it remains very much an attitude of the present. You may not find it verbatim in policy but just listen to what the likes of Bronwyn Bishop and Kevin Andrews are spraying of late...

6th-Oct-2007 04:14 am (UTC) - Re: just an aside..
Hence why I'm so on to people about using it. I would imagine from the tone of the post the OP meant integrating properly, not assimilating properly. I know it may seem like a small point, but I believe one of the great things that has happened to Australia since the 60s is the gradual embracing of more and more cultures. Australia has developed a real identity in the last 40 years, one to be proud of, and that identity is multi-cultural.
6th-Oct-2007 12:47 am (UTC)
Not involved in crime at a rate greater than the average?

These people are refugees. They should not be involved in crime, period.
6th-Oct-2007 12:58 am (UTC)
What's the logic behind that?
6th-Oct-2007 01:01 am (UTC)
A refugee should be gracious that they were let into the country in the first place, and should not be committing any crimes/biting the hand that feeds them. They should just be quiet and keep out of the public's eye, lest the public feel it's time to either stop supporting them or get rid of them.

Australians are pushovers to aggressive foreigners, but only to a point.
6th-Oct-2007 01:23 am (UTC)
Of course they should obey the law. Everyone should obey the law. If we got rid of every nationality that had one of their number involved in crime, the country would be empty of human beings.

You don't want Sudanese people to be seen or heard, and you claim they're aggressive. This really isn't about their successful integration for you, is it?
6th-Oct-2007 01:27 am (UTC)
Well, there are a lot of sudanese in the housing commission towers down the road from me, and there are a lot of australians on the waiting list for housing commission. So yes, there's a bit more in it.

However, the reports from Noble Park can't be ignored.

If they want to live here, they'd better bloody shape up, else they will find themselves handcuffed and on a plane back to Africa.

Oh, and stop encouraging your women to wear headscarves.
6th-Oct-2007 01:45 am (UTC)
I don't know of any reports from Noble Park, please supply a link so they can be evaluated.

There's a lot of Australians in housing commission houses, and those that truly need one are fast-tracked. The Sudanese aren't getting preferential treatment of any type.

For the record, not even Kevin Andrews is suggesting we deport any Sudanese people for getting in trouble with the law.

And "my" women can wear headscarves or whatever other fashion they feel like. That's freedom baby, and if you don't like this country's freedom, you can piss off to Burma or somewhere that your outlook is appreciated.
6th-Oct-2007 01:55 am (UTC)
You really ought to learn how to use Google.


Other recent gang incidents include;

A WILD brawl involving Sudanese men at Noble Park rail station recently which left a policeman with a broken nose.

A 64-YEAR-OLD man was kicked and bashed and stole his bag and phone at the Noble Park rail station in March.

A RADIO director was attacked on a train by three Sudanese men after telling them to stop swearing.

It's very well known that australians have to wait a decade or two to get into housing commission, but refugees can get in almost straight off the boat/plane. I doubt we were even taking sudanese refugees 10 years ago so to suggest that large enclaves can form in housing commission on the same terms as australians is just absurd and completely out of touch.
6th-Oct-2007 03:17 am (UTC)
So you're using incidents in a specific area to label all Sudanese people?

Interestingly it appears to be vastly different with the Sudanese communities in Queensland, per Premier Anna Blighs comments in the articles mentioned in original post.
6th-Oct-2007 05:25 am (UTC)
My sister in law, a mother of two, earlier this year applied for a housing commission house when she broke up with her boyfriend. She was given one immediately, in the area she requested. I couldn't be bothered looking up the statistics on housing commission users, but frankly your assertion that they are overwhelmingly Sudanese is laughable.

As for the article you linked to, it is a description of four incidents in a voilence-prone area. It proves nothing either way, for all we know these are the only four incidents to happen in the sleepy suburb in over a decade. They are stories, not statistics.
7th-Oct-2007 01:44 am (UTC)
It's very well known that australians have to wait a decade or two to get into housing commission, but refugees can get in almost straight off the boat/plane.

Stats? Source? "Everyone knows it's true" doesn't make it true, you know.

Noble Park has always been a dodgy, shitty area - probably why refugees are farmed out there in the first place. There are plenty of bogan Australian teenagers out there committing crimes and drinking and robbing old ladies and whatnot as well. Where shall we deport all of those ones to?
7th-Oct-2007 02:10 am (UTC)
Where shall we deport all of those ones to?

That's easy - Moe

6th-Oct-2007 02:39 am (UTC)
Yeah Andrews' lack of being able to produce evidence on this is appalling. I heard him interviewed on 2UE with Lawsy yesterday. And to Laws' credit, he really stuck it to Andrews for continuing to just say that his department had the information and it was freely available and yet not being able to produce any statistics.

Amusingly the callers after either said Andrews was a racist or a hero. Unsurprisingly.

It just shows this government is now just grasping for straws but with no Tampa, or Terrorism, or Assault on Hetero Marriage this time they're struggling.
7th-Oct-2007 01:41 am (UTC)
Ah, so it's the Africans who have the honour of being this election's Boogeyman.
9th-Oct-2007 02:41 am (UTC)
Kevin Andrew needs to appolize to the Sudanese otherwise he will get some results
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