Alien Fears: Politics and Immigration Control
Dialogue, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 20-30, 2010
9 Pages Posted: 4 Aug 2010 Last revised: 23 Jun 2013
Date Written: August 4, 2010
This article explores the way that fear of the alien outsider has shaped the law and the national character in Australia. The ‘price of fear’ in the area of immigration control is particularly acute in managing the phenomenon of asylum seekers and irregular migrants presenting as ‘boat people’. The article critiques key aspects of policies introduced to deter and contain these people – namely mandatory detention, temporary protection visas and offshore processing. It considers also the broader impact of exclusionary policies in a multicultural and polyglot society like that of Australia – where one in four people are either overseas born or have an overseas born parent.
Keywords: refugees, asylum seekers, politics, human rights, detention, citizenship
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K33
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation