Important message: do not to listen to people smugglers’ lies

12-11-2012 - Australia’s immigration regional director (South Asia) Jose Alvarez today issued a warning to people smugglers selling lies about visa opportunities in Australia.

His warning came following the weekend return of dozens more Sri Lankan men from Australia, bringing the total to more than 250 Sri Lankan nationals who have been returned, both voluntarily and involuntarily, since mid-August.

“Australia will not take people who do not engage its international obligations,” Mr Alvarez said, in support of a videotaped message from Australia, featuring the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, which was especially transmitted to the Sri Lankan media for broadcast in English, Sinhala and Tamil.

“You will be sent back on the first available flight home so don’t waste your money and don’t risk your life. If you do not engage Australia’s international obligations, you will be returned very quickly.

“There is no money and no assistance for people sent home involuntarily. Lies and false promises are being told about what awaits people in Australia,” Mr Alvarez said.

The Australian Government is committed to preventing people from taking dangerous boat journeys. Part of that commitment includes the reinstatement of offshore

“People now arriving in Australian waters on boats can be transferred to either Nauru or Manus Island in Papua New Guinea where they could spend a significant amount of time,” Mr Alvarez said. “Those people without a valid visa and no claim that engages Australia's international obligations will be quickly returned to Sri Lanka.

“Let me repeat: people returned involuntarily do not have access to reintegration assistance,” Mr Alvarez added.

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