Offshore Husband Quotes

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One unintended consequence of this change was that the boats arriving after October 1999 carried an increased number of women and children. Presumably these women and children would not have risked the hazardous journey in the past because their husbands and fathers once recognised as refugees would have been entitled to fly them safely to Australia in the foreseeable future. Whereas only 127 children came on boats in the two years before the October 1999 changes, there were 1,844 children on boats after those changes and prior to the Tampa affair. After the Tampa incident the firebreak was further consolidated by denying the holders of temporary protection visas any prospect of permanent visas with the right to sponsor family if the applicants could have availed themselves of protection in a transit port where they had stayed more than seven days. Of the 1,609 persons held offshore since the Tampa incident, 368 of them have been children. Sadly, these aspects of the firebreak set up an attraction rather than a deterrent for women and children to join their men on leaky boats headed for Australia.
Frank Brennan (Tampering with Asylum)