Thursday, August 05, 2010

Tony Abbott pledges to stop the planes

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott announced today that a coalition government pledges to stop the planes, particular those originating from Heathrow.

"At any given moment there are close to 50,000 illegal overstayers in Australia and it has to stop!", he said to Tony Jones on ABC's Late Line last night. "[Minister for Immigration] Chris Evans freely states that the majority are young Englishmen simply having too good a time.... If he was fair dinkum he'd stop the planes!"

In fact the largest number of overstayers come from the US, followed by China and then the UK.

If overstayers are caught, they are no longer detained but issued with another temporary visa, and according to some reports from within the Department of Immigration they are allowed up to six more months to make their way home.

Green's senator Sarah Hanson-Young added that 'it is easier to demonstrate and peddle fear and hysteria through pictures of people on boats, than it is through people coming off planes at Sydney international airport.'

The Greens have since taken the unusual step of supporting the Liberal proposal.

Minister Evans, himself an English migrant, responded that 'they're often young Englishmen who have gone to a party and are a few days late .... Or they've met a young lady and [they're] having a good time.'

A spokesmen for the UK Prime Minister David Cameron commented that it was an English rite of passage to visit the colonies and that the Australian opposition leader should learn his place.

He also stated that the United Kindgom's immigration department had no plans to screen out potential overstayers.

Prime Minister Julia Gilliard was noticably absent from the debate and has been accused by Mr Abbott of a bias due to her Welsh heritage.

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