Politics

Nice One Australia, Donald Trump Wants To “Learn” From Our Abhorrent Immigration Policy

We inspired Donald Trump to be worse than he already is. We should be appalled.

no way you will not make australia home trump

Nice work Australia — as if our abhorrent, inhumane offshore detention policy hasn’t hurt enough people already, Donald Trump has now decided to use it as inspiration for his own appalling work.

Trump tweeted some of Australia’s border policy posters today, featuring images of wild seas accompanied by the text “NO WAY” and “you will not make Australia home”. “These flyers depict Australia’s policy on Illegal Immigration. Much can be learned!” was Trump’s take-away from that.

The fact that Trump thinks our border policy is a good idea should be a massive red flag for the Australian government. Then again, so should the suicide crisis in offshore detention centres, the needless deaths, the medical community’s warnings that children are at risk of death, Amnesty International condemning our treatment of refugees as torture, and the many, many other awful reports to come out of Manus and Nauru.

Unfortunately, though, none of the above have moved our government to, say, stop this policy immediately and do everything in its power to make amends. Trump’s praise for the policy is unlikely to sway them either, seeing as our current Prime Minister has a history of applauding Trump’s immigration policy decisions.

And now, not only has Australia continued to stand behind a policy of torturing innocent people instead of letting them enter our country — we’ve inspired others to follow in our footsteps. In Donald Trump’s case, we’ve made him aware of new lows available for him to sink to.

After all, Trump wasn’t even aware of Australia’s immigration policy until Malcolm Turnbull called him about it in 2017. At the time, Trump was confused by the policy of offshore detention, and asked Turnbull “why haven’t you let them out? Why have you not let them into your society?”. The idea of indefinitely detaining refugees and asylum seekers had not occurred to him until that call.

Once Turnbull explained what was going on, though, Trump was delighted. “That is a good idea. We should do that too. You are worse than I am,” he said at the time.

Yeah, we are worse than he is. And now we’ve inspired him — and god knows who else — to be even worse. What an example we’re setting.

If you’re appalled by this, consider taking five minutes right now to do something about it. Call your local MP, or visit the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre for suggestions on other ways to get involved.