Having followed a few recent online discussions concerning Australian immigration policy, I don't think I'll surprise anyone by suggesting that such exchanges frequently generate more heat than light. In lieu of having neither time nor expertise to put together a post (or series of posts) that could begin to do justice to the topic, I thought instead I'd start gathering some links to significant contributions which may then be of benefit to others in the ongoing debates about this topic. I'm interested in both primary sources with relevant data and ethical/political analyses that attempt to understand and respond to it.
Here are a few to get started. This is not at all intended to be comprehensive, and so please add more in the comments.
• United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This is the peak international body that has been doing everything from compiling data, to coordinating governmental responses, to working on the ground in partnership with NGOs. UK is here.Given my expectation that coming decades are likely to be quite bumpy ecologically (and so geopolitically), debates about immigration policy are set to continue for some time. "Boat people" won't be going away anytime soon.
• UNHCR Global Trends 2010 report. One of many such reports. Finding specific statistics can take a little patience, but these reports have a wealth of information.
• Australian Parliamentary Library background note on boat arrivals in Australia since 1976, which introduces many of the key terms and history behind present debates. Ought to be required reading for Australians participating in such discussions, though needs to be updated to include recent events, such the High Court decision last week.
• Julian Burnside's reflection on the High Court decision
• A statistical analysis of push vs pull factors in Australian asylum seeker numbers. Again, it would be useful to have this extended to include the last couple of years.
• And some more links can be found on previous posts here and here.