Austrian minister touts 'Australian model' for migrants
June 5, 2016
Austria's foreign minister has suggested that the EU's refugees be interned offshore rather than allowed on to the continent. He said the EU should look to the Australian example of dealing with migrant entries.
Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz (photo) of the rightist Austrian People's Party told a newspaper that Australia's immigration policy should be replicated by the EU in order to deal with the current influx of refugees.
"The Australian model of course cannot be completely replicated but its principles can be applied in Europe," Kurz, who at 29 years old is Europe's youngest minister, told Die Presse in an interview published Sunday.
In fact, Ellis Island was an immigration inspection station that processed thousands of new arrivals every day. Immigrants were only held in the station's infirmaries if they were suspected of carrying infectious diseases but otherwise were not interned, as the minister suggested.
But in an apparent attempt to stake out a tough approach to refugees, Kurz told the newspaper that the EU should adopt a resolution whereby those who try to enter Europe illegally lose their right to demand asylum.
At least 204,000 migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe since January, the United Nations refugee agency said this week. More than 2,500 people have died trying to make the sea crossing as Europe faces the largest wave of migration since World War II.