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Refuge beyond ReachHow Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers$
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David Scott FitzGerald

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190874155

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190874155.001.0001

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Stopping the Refugee Boats

Stopping the Refugee Boats

(p.219) Chapter 10 Stopping the Refugee Boats
Refuge beyond Reach

David Scott FitzGerald

Oxford University Press

Australia has unusually effective controls to deter asylum seekers as a result of its remote geography, regional hegemony, and relatively weak legal constraints. In the 1970s the government’s options were self-limited by foreign policy interests that favored asylum seekers fleeing the fallen ally of South Vietnam. By the 2000s, it had shifted toward a harsh policy built on buffers in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, the “excisions” of particular Australian territories to restrict asylum seekers’ rights there, aggressive interceptions of visa-less travelers at sea, and offshore processing of maritime asylum seekers in other countries’ territories where most have been determined to be refugees by the UNHCR definition. The only current modest limitations on Canberra’s remote controls derive from reliance on other governments to do the work of buffering and caging and scrutiny by civil society.

Keywords:   offshore processing, Manus, Nauru, Christmas Island, excision, Pacific Solution, Sovereign Borders, IOM, Indonesia

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