Protecting the Borderline and Minding the Bottom Line: Asylum Seekers and Politics in Contemporary Australia
AbstractIn late 2001, the Australian government put asylum seekers at the centre of its re-election campaign by refusing to accept 438 asylum seekers picked up by the Norwegian cargo ship Tampa. It then introduced legislation giving the Commonwealth powers to interdict asylum seekers at sea, and to forcibly return them to the port of embarkation. These measures extend the punitive regime of mandatory detention in privately owned and operated centres. This paper examines recent legislative and identity politics in the context of the long-standing white Australian fear of invasion from the north.
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