First Term Blues: Labor, Refugees and Immigration Reform

12 Pages Posted: 8 May 2010

Date Written: May 5, 2010


In early 2010 the continuing arrival of boats carrying asylum seekers, problems in the foreign student program and backlogs in skilled migration combined once again to make immigration and refugee issues front page news. This article reflects on the extent to which Labor has delivered on undertakings made during the campaign of 2007 and those other areas where reform has been slow and opportunities for real change have been squandered. The central problems appear to be that the Labor government either does not have a clear vision of where it wants to take immigration policy in Australia or it has been spooked by anti-immigration sentiments in the electorate. Sadly, there has been a tendency on some occasions to respond to the exigencies of political expediency at the expense of more reasoned change.

Keywords: immigratiom, refugees, human rights, detention, deportation

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33

Suggested Citation

Crock, Mary Elizabeth, First Term Blues: Labor, Refugees and Immigration Reform (May 5, 2010). Sydney Law School Research Paper No. 10/43. Available at SSRN:

Mary Elizabeth Crock (Contact Author)

The University of Sydney Law School ( email )

New Law Building, F10
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006

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