Building a Fair Future: Transforming Immigration Policy for Refugees and Families

In Matteo Bonotti & Narelle Miragliotta (eds.), Australian Politics at a Crossroads: Prospects for Change. Routledge. pp. 149-16` (2024)
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In this chapter I focus on two problems facing immigration systems around the world, and Australia in particular. The topics addressed are chosen because each one involves important fundamental rights and because significant improvement in these areas is possible even if each state acts alone, without significant coordination with others. First, I examine refugee programmes, focussing specifically on the ‘two- tier’ refugee programmes pioneered by Australia with the introduction of Temporary Protection Visas by the Howard Government in 1999. Next, I look at recent declines in refugee resettlement schemes from already stingy levels and, in relation to Australia in particular, I show how the tying of resettlement numbers to the number of affirmative asylum claims granted is both wrong- headed and counterproductive. The second area of immigration policy explored is family migration, another area where immigration systems around the world have been moving in the wrong direction, often via less than transparent administrative processes. Australia is no exception. While Australia’s family migration system is reasonably good on its face, in practice there are several factors which make the programme significantly less than satisfactory from the perspective of protecting the basic rights of migrants and, arguably more importantly, citizens. These problems can and should be fixed in straightforward ways, and since doing so would be more just, would have few— if any— significant negative consequences, and in fact would have a number of clear benefits, those changes should be made.



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Matthew J. Lister
Bond University

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Liberal Self-Determination in a World of Migration.Luara Ferracioli - 2021 - New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
Immigration, Association, and the Family.Matthew Lister - 2010 - Law and Philosophy 29 (6):717-745.
Against the Alienage Condition for Refugeehood.Eilidh Beaton - 2020 - Law and Philosophy 39 (2):147-176.
Illusions of Control.Adam Hosein - forthcoming - Oxford Journal of Practical Ethics.

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