Thursday, November 12, 2009

Supporting one type of people smuggler whilst frowning on another

A few years back I read about an interesting idea to tackle people smugglers. Rather than deterrence, the idea was to actively compete with them for money from the type of potential migrant/refugee that would be tempted to pay a person smuggler. A new type of entry visa would be created (undocumented economic migrant?), and it would be an industry rather than an expense for the receiving country.

It appears that Australias foreign student intake see Article, is more about this burgeoning immigration industry than it is about the higher education industry, at least for Chinese and Indian potential immigrants. I am not sure what percentage students are of our current net migration intake, but it is a very high proportion.

7 comments:

Chris Fellows said...

I have a strong but impractical commitment to open borders so can't think of anything constructive to add.

It strikes me that a strong deterrent effect of infiltrating the people smuggler market could be achieved if the Australian Government were to run large numbers of people smuggling vessels that then mysteriously 'disappeared' in the Indian Ocean. This 'Bermuda Triangle' solution could be made more effective through the judicious deployment of animatronic sea monsters. I'm not sure how to deal with the disappeared smuglees, however: keeping them in a secret base in Antarctica, which is what I first thought of, presents ethical difficulties.

Marco said...

I thought you might have commented along the higher education line - Our higher education is being funded by people who pay just to get in this country.

An idea would be to set up shop in Indonesia, and sell student visas for our sudden surge in demand for interpreters who know Tamil. We could quickly and easily set up "detention universities" to teach them English and they will be qualified within a couple of years. They can pay their way by working in Australia (which is what they want too!) so is less of a burden than detention centres, and I assume you would think that there is nothing better than locking up your students in their on-site accomodation for "security reasons"

Chris Fellows said...

I thought you might have commented along the higher education line - Our higher education is being funded by people who pay just to get in this country.

I suppose since I think this is a pernicious development and can't think of any way to stop it, I was at a loss for a constructive and/or amusing comment...

Marco said...

I suppose since I think this is a pernicious development and can't think of any way to stop it

I had to look up pernicious to make sure you actually thought it was mainly a bad development. However, although it nice to think that Universities should be places of (only) the research and teaching of knowledge as a generalised form for the benefit of the country and mankind, and that this is better done in publicly funded Universities; misses the point that Universities are a lot of different things to a lot of people.

If we are to have a vision of a way to "open borders" more effectively with tools currently available, we should leave aside what Universities ought be or ought not be for the time being. The infrastructure and most of the Honours and doctorate research appears to be publicly funded for the most part, which is fine.

As far as overseas students are concerned, they should be viewed as youthful people with a desire to live, work and learn in Australia. Their degree is a ticket to permanent residency, as well as being a potential career choice or option. The market should decide how many of these we can cope with and how much they should charge. This is best dealt with with Private aspects of Universities - ie price signals would limit numbers, rather than government policy or stricter immigration laws.

We should also think of the course they are studying to be LESS important than the the jobs they are getting to pay their way while they are here - Those jobs are definitely subject to the private employment market, and demand and supply are way more self adjusting than fixed numbers of university placements can ever be.

Chris Fellows said...

Finished! Sorry to be so very slow.

Sax was obviously in contact with Hiroko and her mob from a fairly early stage- do you think the windmills (which are otherwise totally silly) were dropped originally to provide a screen for the thermal signature of their activities, with Sax a participant in the 'Green' conspiracy from the beginning?

The Great Flood seems obviously an act of ecotage to me, but no one ever seems to care to investigate this. Even if they had much bigger things to worry about, you would think they would still want to find someone to blame. What do you think?

Jackie has the right idea zipping off to another star with the Dorsa Brevia mob. Given the technologies postulated, Mars would only ever be a sort of Canada to Earth's USA in the future of KSR's universe.

Marco said...

do you think the windmills (which are otherwise totally silly) were dropped originally to provide a screen for the thermal signature of their activities

That is quite plausible. Certainly what proved them silly in the end would have been obvious enough not to have tried it in the first place - except as a cover.

Hiroko and her mob

The "aerophany" of Hiroko - being spiritually connected with the planet more than neither historically/scientifically interested (Reds) nor Developmentally progressive (greens) had the greatest appeal to me.

Even if they had much bigger things to worry about, you would think they would still want to find someone to blame. What do you think?

Not at all. Clearly Red extremists were the prime suspects, but at a time of revolution, you cannot really bring it to trial - think the Iraqi oil ecotage after Gulf War I.

Jackie has the right idea zipping off to another star with the Dorsa Brevia mob. Given the technologies postulated, Mars would only ever be a sort of Canada to Earth's USA in the future of KSR's universe.

Yes, quite the new adventure in uncharted territory.

Although I found the "Accelerando" overly Utopian in feel in Blue Mars, the end of "Light of Other Days" appeared to me to be so completely devoid of limitations to the technology that my disbelief got de-suspended (ie worse in the same kind of way)

Chris Fellows said...

Just thought I would pop my head in to say, hurrah! The most Dr Clam-like Australian politician I know of has been given the leadership of a major political party.... Haven't been this cheerful since I posted about Bartlett pears of romance that were honey at the cores.