Political Debates on Asylum Seekers during the Fraser Government, 1977–1982

Bibliography File Note.

Type
Journal Article

Author
Rachel Stevens

URL
http://ift.tt/2cVhKXO

Volume
58

Issue
4

Pages
526-541

Publication
Australian Journal of Politics & History

ISSN
1467-8497

Date
December 1, 2012

DOI
10.1111/j.1467-8497.2012.01651.x

Accessed
2016-10-06 06:09:32

Library Catalog
Wiley Online Library

Language
en

Abstract
Between 1977 and 1982, the Australian Government resettled over 54,000 Vietnamese refugees. It also admitted 2,059 Vietnamese asylum seekers who arrived by boat without state authorisation. Although the number of Vietnamese asylum seekers was significantly smaller than the number of Vietnamese refugees processed offshore in refugee camps, the unexpected arrival of these boat people stimulated debate in Parliament and in the press about an appropriate response. This article examines the language politicians used to describe Vietnamese asylum seekers and the arguments used to justify their inclusion or exclusion. The evidence demonstrates that the political rhetoric used in this period in Australia’s immigration history cannot be solely categorised as inclusive or humane. Rather, the overall impression is one of resistance and pragmatism.

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