Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said this week that our country needs to start “calling a spade a spade”.
And that means his department will no longer be using the term ‘asylum seekers’ to refer to those who try and come to Australia by boat, fleeing persecution in their home countries.
Instead, these people will be called ‘illegals’.
Well, Minister Morrison, we think we’ll join you in this “calling a spade a spade” caper and say this:
You sir, are wrong.
As we all know too well, it is not illegal to seek asylum in Australia. Australia is a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention and that means refugees have a right to enter our country without authorisation for the purpose of seeking asylum.
Our country’s signature on that document means that behaviour that would normally be ‘illegal’ is permitted. Permitted as in legal. As in, okay by us. As in, within the bounds of the law. As in, not ‘illegal’ at all.
But Mr Morrison hasn’t just got it wrong legally, but also morally.