The Tunnel looks at 10 asylum seeker fears – and why most of them are false.
1. Asylum seekers are going to take our jobs.
False. Asylum Seekers who are resettled in mainland Australia will be paid the same wage that you get paid and, let’s face it, they have less industry experience than you. If they really want to take your job then they’ll stay in South East Asia and work for a monthly wage that equates to half your weekly beer budget.
2. Asylum seekers will come here, get on the dole and drink all our beer.
False. You can’t afford to drink beer on the dole in Australia. (We at the Tunnel have tried and had to revert to paid employment).
3. Asylum seekers are terrorists.
False. Terrorists fly brand new planes into brand new buildings while asylum seekers float with the tide on ancient boats into ancient shores.
4. Asylum seekers are sneaky buggers.
False. They keep getting caught and locked up, don’t they?
5. Asylum seekers are queue jumpers.
True. If you mean the metaphorical queue that is fifteen million people long and just ends up turning into a mad dash for safety.
6. Asylum seekers are not human.
False. If something looks human and smells human then it is probably just like you and me.
7. Asylum seekers don’t like Jimmy Barnes.
False. Are you out of your freaking mind? Everyone loves Jimmy Barnes! In fact, a recent survey on Manus Island found that detainees listed Jimmy’s “A Little Bit of Daylight” amongst their favourite songs. (Watch the clip here if you don’t understand why – Jimmy got locked up back in the day too!)
8. Asylum seekers prefer Labor policies over Liberal ones.
False. Asylum seekers prefer life over death.
9. Asylum seekers will eat our children.
False. Comprehensive studies show that asylum seekers would rather eat rice. Or food generally.
10. Asylum seekers sell newspapers.
True. But, unlike the royal family, asylum seekers don’t get to buy them.