Asylum claims surge as system fails to protect migrants

Is it because the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is shifting the risks and costs to other agencies as the number of asylum claims from Pacific Island nations continues to rise?

In September 2022, there were over 313 asylum applications from Pacific Islanders. The total number of asylum applications from Pacific Islanders since November 2019 is now approaching 5,000 (see Figure 1).

sauce: Ministry of the Interior When Administrative Appeals Tribunal

With 94, Tonga has become the third-most asylum-seeking country in September 2022.

sauce: Ministry of the Interior (Land protection visa processing report)

Overall asylum applications also resumed an increase after the reopening of borders, but these are well below the peak of trafficking scams from Malaysia and China that began in 2015 (see Figures 2 and 3).

sauce: Ministry of the Interior (Asylum and protection visa reporting)

Overall, at the end of September 2022, there was a backlog of 26,315 asylum applications in the first stage, and about 40,000 backlogs at the Administrative Appellate Tribunal (AAT). 70,056 asylum seekers have been rejected at the first stage but have not departed. In September 2022, nine asylum seekers voluntarily left Australia, but none voluntarily left.

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Since borders reopened, the biggest change in originating countries has been from Pacific Island countries. growth Labor mobility in Pacific Australia (palm) scheme, there has been a slow increase in asylum applications from Indian citizens.

Almost all asylum seekers from Pacific Island countries are denied, with the exception of those from Papua New Guinea.

These asylum seekers will be a subset of PALM scheme workers fleeing their employers. DFAT isfugitive“This shifts the blame onto the workers (who are generally the victims of this incident) and away from DFAT and their employers.

DFAT has policy responsibility for the PALM scheme, while the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and AAT cover the costs of processing asylum applications. DHA is struggling to cope with the pressure to speed up visa processing across the system.

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The costs of locating and removing unsuccessful asylum applicants will be borne by the Australian Border Patrol (ABFMore) workers who do not have the resources to do the work and the cost of keeping them from being exploited by the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWOMore).

FWO, which prioritizes making sure migrant farm workers are not exploited, is completely overwhelmed by the workload.

In other words, DFAT takes all the glory of the PALM scheme and tells its ministers that all is well, while other agencies cover the costs. This is a fundamentally poor management architecture.

Doctor Abul Rizvi teeth independent Australian columnist Former Deputy Commissioner of Immigration. You can follow Abul on Twitter @Lizviable.

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Asylum claims surge as system fails to protect migrants

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