I first noticed this story via our partners at Twitchy. Like every other western nation, Australia has their own concerns about terrorist incursion and illegal immigration. They are sometimes perceived as having somewhat of an advantage in this area because they are an island nation, so there is no physical border fence to maintain. But they’ve got an incredibly huge coastline to control and smugglers frequently try to bring small boats ashore to deliver illegal immigrants.
The government has put out a renewed message, letting foreigners know in no uncertain terms that the welcome mat is not out.
Australian authorities have published a graphic campaign, seemingly aimed at deterring asylum seekers. It uses the slogan: “No way. They will not make Australia home”, and shows a map of Australia with a line struck through it. The campaign has also used a graphic novel depicting asylum seekers in distress in an offshore detention centre.
Elements of the campaign have been launched on the Department for Immigration and Border Protection website and on the Customs and Border Protection website, with neither department willing to comment on the material. The campaign also appears to include the first official concession that the Coalition government has ordered Australian defence personnel to turn asylum seeker boats back.
A section of the immigration site says: “Don’t waste your money – people smugglers are lying. The Australian government has instructed the Australian Defence Force to turn back boats where it is safe to do so.”
The usual amount of outrage has already been expressed in the media, with liberal critics choosing to frame this as a cruel Australian tyranny turning away “asylum seekers.” But the Australians – just like the United States – have a program in place for legal immigration, as well as asylum for those who qualify. If you follow those rules, they will likely be fine with welcoming you down under. But if you show up on a raft trying to sneak in surreptitiously, they’re going to send you packing. It’s really a pretty simple policy.
I’m including the rather blunt poster they have put out below, along with the instructional video from General Angus Campbell of the Australian army.