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Australian Lower House of Parliament passes new laws on asylum seekers

08-15-2012 14:19 BJT

CANBERRA, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed an amendment to the law aiming to stop people coming to Australia on boats after a lengthy debate on the issue the night before.

This is in response to a surge in boat arrivals that has seen 2, 000 asylum seekers a month arriving in Australia. Since the Labor government has been in power in 2007, over 22,000 asylum seekers have come to Australia by boat and nearly 1,000 have drowned at sea attempting the voyage.

Only two Members of Parliament voted against the bill, while MPs from the governing Labor Party and the Opposition Coalition stood to support the bill. The Migration Legislation Amendment ( Offshore Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2011 now goes to the Senate for vote.

If passed, the bill will enable the government to reinstate offshore processing centers in South Pacific countries of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

Earlier this year, the government introduced legislation to mandate processing in Malaysia in an attempt to stop the flow. This was deadlocked in the parliament, so the government decided six weeks ago to establish an expert group to prepare a report for government on measures to stop the boats. The group presented its report on Monday, which proposed that the government adopt the opposition policy of processing asylum seekers in Nauru and Manus Island, Papua News Guinea.



Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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