multicultural Hot Words

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Hotword: Queue-jumper...




A queue is a line of people or vehicles waiting to receive goods or services. A person who does not wait for their turn in the queue but jumps ahead may be called a queue-jumper.

In Australia, queue-jumper has become a term that is used for asylum seekers who arrive in Australia without a valid visa. These people are also referred to as unauthorised arrivals or, incorrectly, illegal immigrants.

What makes it hot?

The reason for choosing to refer to these people as queue-jumpers is based on the assumption those who arrive in Australia without documentation to seek asylum take unfair advantage over those who have completed applications for refugee status outside Australia in order to enter Australia with a valid visa.

Queue-jumper becomes a very hot word because they are perceived to be wealthy enough to have paid a people smuggler to assist them to jump the queue. There is also a perception that queue-jumpers are trying to prey on the goodwill of the Australian people by using international law to seek asylum once they have arrived.

In fact, asylum seekers may come from countries and circumstances in which there is no orderly process that can be undertaken to seek asylum. In the countries from which asylum seekers come there may be no Australian embassies or consulates at which they may queue to apply for asylum. In some countries, leaving without permission of the Government carries with it the death penalty, forcing asylum seekers from these countries to come to Australia by different means including by boat.

Date Added:

10 March 2002