Australia policy splits refugees in two tiers

"Stop the boats" policy says asylum seekers who arrived in country on or after July 19 will be deported.

    Australia's conservatives, led by Tony Abbott, maintaining an election-winning lead over Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, after a first leaders' debate was widely called a draw.

    Both men promise to take a hard stance against asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat.

    On July 19, the government announced a policy to "stop the boats" to discourage asylum seekers, saying those who arrived on or after that date would be deported to Papua New Guinea or Nauru.

    The policy has created two tiers of refugees. Those who arrived by boat before July 19 may well get to stay in Australia permanently. Anyone who arrived after will not.

    Al Jazeera's Andrew Thomas reports from Christmas Island.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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