Re: nothing like old fashioned racism
I downvoted you because of your cry of racism - a cry used all too often to silence debate on what has become a serious issue.
First off, you should know that while Australia is big, it's also inhospitable. That vast tract of land you see spanning half the southern hemisphere is fucking desert. We might be the size of the continental US, but we have only a tenth of the fresh water, so we can support only a tenth of the population. Consequently, our government has a responsibility to ensure that population growth doesn't get out of hand. And our current growth is being maintained by immigration as it is.
The problem with "boat people" is that they arrive here with no credentials, no passports or any means of identification. They are not vaccinated, and may be carrying a host of diseases which we are very lucky not to have in Australia. We have no malaria, no rabies, no polio, no yellow fever, all of which these illegal arrivals have been found carrying. We also have a vast and diverse range of unique animal and plant species, found nowhere else in the world, which are extremely vulnerable to imported diseases and invasive species that are carried in on the boats. Our strict quarantine and vaccination laws are in place for a very good reason.
Without identification, how do we know they aren't criminals or terrorists fleeing justice, or Islamist nutjobs like the bastards that murder people in broad daylight on your city streets? We need to be able to check their backgrounds, establish identity, and prevent such violent thugs from entering our country and ruining the very way of life that everyone wants to come here for. Of course not all boat people are terrorists or disease carriers, but we need to be able to confirm this for each one. Once we can confirm it, we let them in, no problem.
It takes time, effort and money to complete background checks on these refugees, to make sure that they can support themselves in Australia, and to make sure they are vaccinated and not carrying any disease. But they're flooding in faster than we can complete these processes, so what are we to supposed to do? Just let them all in willy-nilly and hope the bad ones don't start murdering people in the streets and infecting our kids with malaria and polio? The only thing we can do is keep them somewhere while we sort them out and get them through as best we can.
I'm sorry if these facts offend your delicate liberal sensitivities, but we have a fucking right to protect ourselves, our kids, our wildlife and our way of life from murdering fanatical thugs, deadly tropical diseases and invasive feral species.