Illegals, Overstayers and Unwelcome Guests

Migration to Australia 1983-1999

Dr. Rodney Spencer

Massive illegal immigration from poor third world countries into developed affluent Western nations such as the USA, Europe, UK, Canada and Australia is now acknowledged to be out of control and Governments are all being pushed to 'do something'.

Illegal immigrants suffocating in trucks coming across the English Channel, or drowning after being pushed overboard, or going down with their leaky boats, ships with hundreds of illegals being stranded - even in New York harbour and the French Riviera [1], people being dumped on Ashmore Reef and now crime syndicates smuggling people as well as drugs, are all very visible reminders of the tip of this very large iceberg.

So far no critical study has been published in Australia regarding the Australian Government's "she'll be right attitude" on illegal immigration, overstayers and unwelcome guests [2]. Indeed, the Government and Opposition, usually bi-partisan on these issues, have suggested that because Australia is an island continent we are somewhat protected from this problem. Mr Ruddock, Federal Immigration Minister, in his Department's publication, "Protecting the Border", launched by him on the 9/12/99, gives the official estimate that there are now 53 143 overstayers in Australia.

How far is this from the truth?

Peter Tomkins, Head of the UK Immigration service from 1981-1989 said, "For ten years I was Head of the UK Immigration service. I have long known that the Home Office statistics bear no relation at all to the true facts on immigration". "The actual rate of immigration was more than twice the official one" [3].

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) population statistics (3401-0) are confusing. Even seasoned independent demographers are unable to agree on who enters Australia, in what categories and where certain entrants are placed in the statistics. It is obvious that the easiest way to illegally stay in Australia is to come as a visitor by air, overstay and merely disappear into the ethnic community of your origin. So for this paper a simple analysis of visitor entry and departure numbers was carried out.

Overseas visitors into Australia are all carded, counted and computerised on entry and departure from Australia. A simple calculation of the difference between visitor arrivals (long and short term) and visitor departures (long and short term) tells us the number of overstayers. When calculated over seventeen years and where trends have been consistent year after year, these calculations show an ongoing rorting of our border controls by people coming into Australia as long and short term visitors. See Appendix 1, Appendix 2 and Appendix 3.

As can be seen, 1,136,240 visitors came and stayed over the seventeen years.

Some corrections need to be made to these figures. Some visitors apply for and receive a place in the immigration programme and some also apply and receive refugee status. Over the seventeen years, the Immigration Department's statistics confirm slightly less than 225,000 became onshore migrants (appendix 4). The Department does not give any accurate numbers for people obtaining refugee status onshore, but we have the total number of applicants for such change of status. Overall less than 25% are accepted. Over the seventeen years 88,246 applied (Appendix 5) and therefore approximately 38,000 would have been granted refugee status. (Note all the People's Republic of China applicants 1990, at the time of the Tienamen Square massacre, were granted refugee status by a tearful Bob Hawke and are included in this close, but approximate total). Other corrections could be for demographic lag which would be a small number when one does a study over seventeen years. Some Australian residents also maybe returning as visitors and legally staying.

In total, about 263,000 overstayers were legitimatised and allowed to stay. Therefore the overstayer figure is reduced by 263,000 to 873,000.

An alternate way of cross checking these figures was done, once again with ABS statistics. All people coming into Australia in 1983-1999 and all people leaving were counted (Appendix 6). This left an excess of arrivals over departures of 2,033,340. This figure includes a net immigration number of 1,206,740 (Appendix 7) and allowance for the 449,040 Australian residents (Appendix 8) who permanently departed Australia over this time.

Therefore once again the excess of arrivals over departures is:

2,033,340 minus 1,206,740 = 826,600

A figure very close to the calculation using visitor overstayers. A sizeable number of these people, approximately 400,000 (DIMA personal communication) who unilaterally decided to come and stay in Australia, are New Zealanders. They can come as visitors and legally stay all their lives. In more recent times 30% of New Zealand "visitors" who stay are people who have only recently migrated to New Zealand and taken out New Zealand citizenship, so as to allow them to stay in Australia.

Allowing these are legal overstayers we are still left with over 450,000 illegal overstayers, yet Mr Ruddock and his Department say Australia has only 53,143 overstayers as at 9/12/99. Over seventeen years 450,000 illegal overstayers amounts to 26,500 per year or 73 people every day for seventeen years.

We are being rorted Mr Ruddock. It's obvious in the streets. It's obvious in the official statistics. These people are not counted in our census, do not have health checks, have very few skills, provide cheap available labour for prostitution and sweat shops and are vulnerable to criminal elements. Governments, whether of Liberal or Labor persuasion seem paralysed into inaction by the difficulties of forcible removal of illegals. In such an event the media would have a field day, sympathetically highlighting all the drama of forced deportation of illegals with their wives, children and grandparents, with much crying and suicide threats. Maybe the unwritten and unspoken policy is to let them stay but for the government to act and talk "tough" for public consumption.

The extremes of politics, from the far business right to the left, support the view "there shall be open borders" as was expressed in the Wall Street Journal editorial 3/7/89 calling for this as an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Such a source of a compliant, cheap labour force is too good to give up. Similarly the far left of politics, the Greens, the Churches, the internationalist liberal media, migrant groups and the multicultural lobby likewise call for no real border controls, the closing of detention camps and releasing of illegal immigrants into the community. For a Government it is easier to placate these powerful interest groups and turn a blind eye rather than face this difficult and escalating problem.

The right of the majority to resist this unwelcome swamping of our borders and maintain our standard of living, way of life and culture, has once more been trampled by powerful minority groups. The protection of the integrity of the nation state starts with its borders. In the 21st Century the movement of people across our borders, rather than armies, is our greatest threat.

[1] The Age, 19 Feb. 2001 page 1
Raspail Jean. The Camp of the Saints 5th ed. The Social Contract Press. 445 East Mitchell Street, Petoskey, Michigan 4977--2623
[2] Spencer, Rodney. "On the Origin of Distrust of Immigration in Australia", The Social Contract, Vol. VIII, No.2. Winter 1997-98
[3] UK Mail, Aust Ed., Monday 13 Feb. - Sunday 19th Feb. 1995 pg 6


Appendixes (Excel spreadsheet version)

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