According to an article in The Australian, “the Immigration Department approved 94 per cent of all refugee status claims from people arriving illegally by boat, after initial assessments and independent merits reviews, between October 2008 and December 22 last year. In stark contrast, the department approved only 39 per cent of protection visa requests for non-boat arrivals in the first half of this financial year…” “South Australian independent MP Bob Such, who lodged the [Freedom of Information] request [which resulted in the release of the data], said the high number of successful refugee claims by people arriving by boat showed the federal government’s detention policies were ‘flawed’. ‘Not only is the current policy costly and harmful to their mental state, it’s costly to Australia,’ Dr Such said. ‘They’re spending hundreds of millions . . . on detaining people who are no threat at all.’…”
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(As reported in the Human Rights Law Resource Centre (Australia) Human Rights News Stories for the week ending 25 February 2011.)