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‘A race to the bottom’: how Australia imported its asylum seeker policies from the US

At the height of the Tampa crisis, Australia turned to a US bureaucrat and asked for advice

  • Ben Doherty
  • The Guardian

In August 2001, at the height of the Tampa crisis – 433 rescued asylum seekers on board a freight ship seeking landfall in Australia – the Australian government made a call to an American bureaucrat, then in Geneva, and asked him to the embassy.

Xad 8iYears earlier, the bureaucrat had been a key architect of America’s policies towards boat-borne asylum seekers seeking protection in the US, and it was this experience Australia wished to…

“This particular US policymaker was summoned to the Australian embassy in Geneva,” Dr Daniel Ghezelbash, senior lecturer at Macquarie law school, told a…

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