Using precious overseas aid funding to lock up asylum seekers must be the shabbiest thing an Australian government has done since the White Australia Policy.
Just as Australia prepares to take its seat at the UN Security Council, we are telling the world what kind of a selfish and grasping nation we have become.
Overseas aid is in part a preventative action to make the lives of people in the developing world better, so that instead of fleeing poverty and persecution, they will stay put and work to build their own communities.
Now the money will be used for a trade in vulnerable people and the razor wire will keep them from a new life.
Are we the only country in the world that sees people fleeing persecution as criminals? We call them “illegals”.
Revelations of forced returns of people to Sri Lanka before they have even applied for asylum are no different to the return of Jews to Germany that occurred in the 1930s, except that we know for sure they will be punished when they arrive home.
Our reputation as a welcoming and compassionate nation has been comprehensively trashed. Christmas spirit it is not!