This article by David Leyonhjelm, Contributor, The Daily Reckoning makes a worthwhile contribution to the problem. I am sure you won’t agree with all of his suggestions but it will challenge most of us.
“Calls to solve the Middle East refugee crisis have been loud but vague; so here’s my guide to dealing with the situation compassionately and effectively.
Invite a refugee family to stay at your place: Contact the Refugee Council, Uniting Church or Red Cross to offer your spare room to someone in need. After all, just going to a rally or signing a petition is a bit vacuous. When you said, ‘welcome more refugees’, didn’t that mean you would welcome them? Or did you think that someone else would do it?
Employ a refugee, or let someone else do so: Most refugees want to work. If you’re not in a position to offer a job, don’t prevent others from doing so. Many lack the language or skills to jump straight into a $17.29 an hour gig, yet would gladly take a job that pays more than welfare. Exempt refugees from the minimum wage. Many Australians who dislike welfare-dependent refugees would be more welcoming if they paid their way via employment.
Cut foreign aid: Doubling our refugee intake would cost a billion dollars, but if we cut foreign aid by the same amount, taxpayers who worry about the cost of helping foreigners would have nothing to complain about. We’d still fund short-term humanitarian assistance, because cutting a billion dollars from foreign aid still leaves billions more. And we’d do more good for foreigners by bringing them here than channelling cash to corrupt local elites.
Think global, act local: While there are millions fleeing the Middle East, there are also millions fleeing trouble spots closer to home — Burma, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Taking refugees from our region would do as much good as from Syria (although persecuted Christians from Syria should be fast tracked*). And realistically, we have more capacity to assimilate Buddhists, Hindus and Christians to our way of life and liberal democracy than we do Muslims.
Let economic refugees pay to get here: Plenty are fleeing their homelands because of mayhem and poverty, not persecution. Instead of them paying people smugglers to get here, and our Government then paying the people smugglers to send them back, we should accept economic refugees for a fee — to prove to sceptical taxpayers that economic refugees need not be a budget burden, and would ensure those most able to hit the ground running in the workplace are the ones who choose to make Australia home.
Let people in as interim second-class residents: Australians would accept a much higher intake, if migrants did not immediately have access to taxpayer‑funded welfare, healthcare, housing and education as citizens. They would also accept a much higher intake if the hurdle to obtain citizenship were higher. Some will argue that they don’t want a two-tiered system in Australia, but if we ask potential migrants if they want to come even without access to our social welfare system, I’m pretty sure what most would say.
Be the best we can be: Economic development and growth isn’t just in our own interest. It means we can afford to be the most altruistic country on the planet. So listen to those who want to approve developments, cut red tape, remove industry protectionism, and get resources out of the public sector into the private sector: they’re the most compassionate Aussies around.”
* comment by me