In 2008, Australia found itself in a similar situation Europe is in now. Boats full of migrants were making their way in perilous sea journeys to enter Australia. At their peak, over 300 boats a year were arriving, and the Australian government twiddled its thumbs indecisively about what to do. The then government was a Labour government, and it appears Labour parties all over the world are rather slack when it comes to border controls. In 2014, a bogus asylum seeker who had gained entry to Australia with fanciful tales of persecution walked in to the Lindt cafe in Sydney and show two people dead in the first Islamist terrorist attacks in the continent’s history.
Then there was an election. The Australian people were fed up with open borders, and voted in a government largely on the back of its promise to stop the boats. The new government then took three steps. Firstly, they ran an advertising campaign in the countries the migrants were coming from with the blunt slogan “You will not make Australia your home”, a campaign that was repeated online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rT12WH4a92w). The logic was if it made it clear the journey would be wasted, many migrants would not even set off. The second phase was ‘push back’, where Australian navy patrol boats intercepted migrant boats in the open seas and towed them back to safe ports in Indonesia and other neighbouring countries, meaning the migrants would never make it to Australia even if they had ignored the advertising boards warning them not to even set off.
The final stage was if a boat was in distress or had already sunk, migrants would be rescued, and sometimes taken to Australia. But they were not given asylum, and were held in secure centres whilst their claims were processed. This prevented them from disappearing in to the wider population if their claim was rejected, as happens routinely in Europe. In the event an applicant was successful, the Australian government would often send migrants to a safe country like Cambodia, rather than let them stay in Australia (http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/jun/04/four-refugees-arrive-in-cambodia-from-nauru-under-deal-with-australia). The effect of these policies was simple, and sent a crystal clear message to the migrants. You won’t make it here, if you are caught half way we will send you back and even if you do make it here, you probably aren’t staying. The results spoke for themselves. At their peak, over 300 boats a year were arriving in Australia; since the new policy, there has been just a single boat.
The Australians are by nature kind hearted and generous, but their generosity had been cruelly taken advantage of by asylum seekers in the past. In 1996 Man Haron Monis, the perpetrator of the Lindt cafe massacre in Sydney, arrived in Australia and was granted asylum on claims he was being persecuted in his native Iran. This claim has since been shown to be false, and Monis repaid this kindness with criminality and violence. Even before the Lindt cafe attack, he had racked up 30 sexual assault charges, had claimed benefits fraudulently and at the time of the attacks was on bail for accessory to murder (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3095625/Well-educated-model-student-pathological-liar-exaggerated-religious-qualifications-day-Sydney-siege-inquest-hears-gunman-s-strange-early-life-Iran.html). The memories of this ungrateful bogus asylum seeker were fresh in the memory of the Australian electorate when they voted for a new, tougher immigration policy.
The Australian government were mindful of the way Monis had ruthlessly abused the asylum system with lies and withheld information when he first gained entry. Any asylum applicant who could make it past the naval patrols (which is not many) would be expected to cooperate fully with Australian immigration. Questions would be asked, and honest answers demanded. If an asylum seeker showed bad faith, such as by lying about their circumstances, or destroying their ID papers, their application was automatically voided and they were out. The result was only the very most genuine applicants would get asylum, and bogus asylum seekers would be quickly detected, rejected and deported.
Despite the shrill claims of the Australian left, this policy has been as popular as it is successful. Australia is not some hermit fortress that rejects newcomers. The Australian points system allows anyone, from anywhere to come and live in Australia – provided they have something to offer in the way of economic and professional contributions. This is a far cry from the notorious White Australia policy that barred even the most talented non-white from immigration.
Australia essentially stopped its migrant crisis very quickly because of two reasons. Firstly, its people wanted it to and voted accordingly, and secondly, Australia’s government is not subject to the authority of the EU. Britain is not able to stop our migrant crisis. In fact far from stopping it, the EU’s top leaders have only made matters worse. EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker authored an article that sang the praises of open borders, whilst Angle Merkl has adopted an essentially ‘no questions asked, money is no object’ stance to immigration. The result has been to incentivise people to risk their lives to come to Europe.
Australia shows us two things. Firstly, that there is a quick and humane way to stop mass immigration, and that secondly, that way is only open if you are a sovereign nation. If Britain wants to copy Australia, it must regain its sovereignty first.