How to Save Europe

Ten years after Australia stopped illegal immigration once and for all, will the United Kingdom be the first major European country to follow its lead? Australia’s Operation Sovereign Borders has shown that when a government is serious, it can stop the influx not only over land borders but also at sea, something European countries have never been able to do.

In 2013, Australia started interning all illegal immigrants caught at sea or intercepted on arrival. It held them in detention centers on island nations with which the Canberra government had signed agreements. Another essential part of the policy has been that anyone caught trying to enter Australia illegally is automatically banned for life from visiting or seeking asylum.

Under the 2007–2010 Labor government, illegal immigration by sea totaled around 50,000 people, including over 37,000 between 2012 and 2013 alone, and there were more than 1,200 deaths by drowning. That was because the Labor government of Kevin Rudd dismantled the border control policies of his predecessor, John Howard. Since 2013, thanks to the new rules, the flow of boats carrying illegals — and the drownings — have stopped. Immigrant-smugglers who can’t get illegals into a country have no customers. The smuggling networks disappear. The problem is solved.


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