Number of boat arrivals tops 6,000 for year

July 19, 2012

Immigration Department figures show more than 6,000 asylum seekers have arrived by boat this year.

A boat carrying 25 people was stopped near Christmas Island last night – the eighth to be intercepted in the past six days.

More than 4,000 people are in detention.

Darwin’s Wickham Point facility and the Christmas Island Centre both hold more than 1,000 asylum seekers.

The passengers from the latest boat are being taken to Christmas Island for health and security checks.

According to a parliamentary report published last year and updated this month, 69 boats and 4,565 people – excluding the crew – arrived in Australia in 2011.

In 2010, a total of 6,555 people and 134 boats made it to Australia’s shores.

The majority of asylum seekers arriving in Australia travel by air with a visa and then apply for a refugee status. In 2009-2010, unauthorised boat arrivals accounted for just under half of all onshore asylum seekers.

In comparison, the United States is estimated to receive more than 500,000 “illegal aliens” each year, while Europe struggles to control large numbers of African and Middle Eastern arrivals each year.



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