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Jason Harris

Jason loves to communicate God's word both in the local church and at conferences and retreats. Jason has been involved with Worship Music since 1996 and InFocus since 2005. Jason has degrees in theology, music, accounting, and research and is currently a PhD candidate and lecturer in the College of Business, Law, and Governance at James Cook University, Cairns. Jason is also a pastor at CrossPoint Church. You can contact Jason at jason@teaminfocus.com.au.

5 Comments

  1. avatar

    Liz

    Hi Jason.

    I agree with much of what you have written but I’m wondering about this:

    “The issue is not whether we should help the stranger, but how we should handle those who break the rules and come illegally.”

    My understanding is that it is not illegal to claim asylum in Australia, regardless of how you enter.

    Am I wrong?

    Reply
    1. avatar

      Jason Harris

      Hey Liz, Good to hear from you. =)

      According to this, you’re spot on. Thank you for pointing that out.

      This turns the focus from the method of entry to the validity of the claims to asylum.

    2. avatar

      Liz

      From the link you provided:

      “The majority of asylum seekers who have reached Australia by boat have been found to be genuine refugees.

      Between 70 and 90 per cent have typically been found to be refugees, compared to around 40 to 45 per cent of asylum seekers who arrive with some form of temporary visa (e.g. tourist, student or temporary work visa). In 2010-11, 89.6 per cent of asylum seekers arriving by boat were found to be refugees, compared to 43.7 per cent of those who arrived with valid visas.”

      Question:

      Do you think that the majority of these boat people have the means to apply for a tourist visa (assuming they can even acquire a passport), get on a plane from their country of origin and walk into DIAC instead of get on a leaky boat?

      I often wonder this.

      Either way… the mission field is here.

      I only need to drive 5 mins down the road to be in another country.

      :-)

    3. avatar

      Jason Harris

      Considering the cost to get on a leaky boat, I think they are pursuing a better life, not protection which could be found far cheaper and far closer than Australia.

      There are refugee camps all around the world packed full of people who would love to resettle in Australia, but can’t because our refugee quota is being taken up by boat arrivals. I feel that the boats function as a way for those with money to jump the queue and settle in the best refugee placements rather than getting sent somewhere less wealthy or with fewer services. And in the process, causing far more deaths (roughly 1,000 in recent years) than would have occurred had they stayed in the place they were running from.

      Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just take everyone in?! Looking forward to a just kingdom with no refugees.

  2. avatar

    Liz

    You wrote, “I feel that the boats function as a way for those with money to jump the queue and settle in the best refugee placements rather than getting sent somewhere less wealthy or with fewer services.”

    Great point.

    If we were in their position though (which thankfully we’re not), would you want to take a ticket and wait 20 yrs in a refugee camp (which may not exist in the countries these people come from)?

    I wouldn’t want to go to Indonesia for a holiday let alone plead asylum there instead of having a go for Australia.

    TBH… I cannot blame the boat people for trying.

    But I understand that we can’t allow everyone to come into Australia, get on welfare and be supported by taxpaying Australians who are pretty well fed up with our ‘own people’ being let down (ie: disabled and the elderly).

    “Looking forward to a just kingdom with no refugees.”

    – Me too Jason, me too.

    Reply

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