For years an inaccurate and nastily xenophobic email has been circulating around the world and, adapted for Australia, it has turned up in Inboxes on the NSW North Coast from time to time.
Here is one version posted on a blog in May 2020 as If you cross the US border...
Now that the Australian federal election campaign has begun, the editor of the Tweed Daily News should exercise some care, because that same piece of arrant nonsense is turning up within that newspaper's pages.
From the Tweed Daily News letters to the editor published on 19 July 2010:
No room for immigrants
MUCH is being made of illegal immigration, be it by boat or plane. My belief is until all homeless Australian-born citizens are catered for, all Australian young people can get a real job, our immigration intake should be zero.
If you cross the North Korean border illegally you get 12 years hard labour.
If you cross the Iranian border illegally you are detained indefinitely.
If you cross the Afghan border illegally, you get shot.
If you cross the Saudi Arabian border illegally you will be jailed.
If you cross the Chinese border illegally you may never be heard of again.
If you cross the Cuban border illegally you will be thrown into a political prison to rot.
If you cross the Australian border illegally you get: a job; an interpreter; free legal aid; a driver's licence; social security number; welfare; free education and free health care.
All at the expense of the Australian taxpayer.
With back-flip Gillard champing at the bit for a federal election, perhaps the locally based federal member could inform us what welfare payments illegal boat people receive. I am sure Australian-born pensioners who are battling to exist would.
Carl Redman *
* Carl Redman, Australian-born Cudgen resident
# Hat tip to Clarrie Rivers for alerting me to this letter.