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Some interesting facts in an article by Paul Sheehan in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald.

The Department of Immigration …  is busy spending an unprecedented amount delivering an ineffective program on the scale of waste comparable to Labor’s national roof insulation scheme or school building program. This time the failure is destroying lives and inviting more of the same on a greater scale.

Last Thursday, the Gillard government asked for another $290 million to fund its border protection program. The opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, responded: ”In 2010-11 the government will spend more than $760 million on people arriving illegally in Australia. This compares to less than $100 million in annual expenditure when the Howard government left office in 2007.”

At this rate of spending, the cost of keeping each detainee has rocketed to $150,000 a year …

No wonder there is a backlog of 6000 humanitarian cases clogging the scrutiny and review system. No wonder the Labor government, which railed against the Howard government’s detention policies, is opening more and more detention centres …

More than 2000 violent incidents are happening every year in the centres. Last week, in the latest known incident, about 40 detainees were involved in scuffles at the Darwin Airport Lodge detention centre. Six people were hospitalised.

All because this government is achieving the worst of both worlds: encourage the people-smuggler trade then lock up the arrivals.

While the majority of the electorate appear to believe that the last people who should be allowed permanently into the country are those who try to come in illegally, the Gillard government does not even forcibly return people it has ordered to be deported …

The combination of more arrivals, more detentions and slow processes means the average time spent in detention has risen to 183 days. Six months. Two years ago the figure was 25 days.

The Labor government’s ‘compassionate’ immigration policies are monstrous and inhumane.

The people who are conned into coming by Labor and the people smugglers are not the only ones who are hurt.

As John Howard’s Minister for Immigration Amanda Vanstone pointed out several years ago, the more resources we are forced to spend on people who jump the queue, the less we are able to do for people, often in much greater need, who are waiting around the world in refugee camps.

We need to return people who are here illegally to their countries of origin. No questions, no excuses.

That would stop the boats, and it would mean that the extraordinary amount of money now spent keeping illegal immigrants in motels could instead be spent supporting and finding homes for a greater number and broader range of immigrants and refugees.

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