Migrants and refugees

We are certainly a nation with many migrants.

Our First Australians have of course been here for thousands of years.

Millions of other people have since migrated to Australia and call it home.

I am one of them.

My big multi-ethnic family also calls this amazing country home.

Many of the migrants who came to Australia were and are also refugees escaping from persecution, war, famine and other challenges.

 

I remember bi-partisan approaches that have helped refugees such as those who came at the time of the Vietnamese war. Those refugees were welcomed and have contributed to the welfare of this country in a big way. The former governor of South Australia is one of them. I have many good friends who are former refugees.

 

When the treatment of refugees becomes politicised many inhuman things are ensured.

I know of one boat person who has spent his entire teenage years in detention at Nauru. He has not committed any crime.

 

I do not believe that open borders are a good solution. However compassionate, just, measured and reasonable solutions are essential in our treatment of refugees.

 

Some of these people can share horror stories of what they have experienced.

 

Jesus was once a refugee escaping with his family to Egypt.

 

This weekend we celebrate migrant and refugee Sunday.

 

As Christians we need to encourage, as Pope Francis keeps reminding us, our society and government to treat this whole area with the highest principles of our humanity, among which is compassion.