Socialist Alliance released this statement on July 30.
Newly endorsed Socialist Alliance candidates for the Senate in NSW, Jim McIlroy and Reg Dare, said: "The current hysteria against asylum seekers, pushed by both the Kevin Rudd government and the Liberal opposition, is aimed at drawing public attention away from the real source of economic insecurity in this country — the billionaires and their stolen wealth.
"Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and opposition leader Tony Abbott are competing to see who can propose the most bizarre 'solution' to the issue of the 'boat people.' Rudd's attempt to outflank Abbott from the right, with the ALP's 'PNG solution' is now being challenged by the opposition's plans for a 'tent city' for refugees on Nauru.
"Both major parties are stoking the fires of racism in Australia in a cruel attempt to scapegoat refugees for the growing social and economic problems in this country.
"In contrast, Socialist Alliance says: Refugees are welcome, racists are not!
"We say: End all mandatory detention of asylum seekers, at home or abroad. Use funds saved to assist refugees suffering in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. Fully respect Australia's international obligations under the UN Refugee Convention.
"Meanwhile, let's tackle the real economic crisis at home. Take back the wealth. Bring the mining industry, the big banks and the energy companies under public and community ownership and control, so that they can be run in a way that recognises Aboriginal rights, the environment and social justice.
"We cannot afford to leave our future to the likes of coal billionaires Gina Rinehart and Clive Palmer along with the faceless bankers. If we do so, we won't have a future worth leaving to our children and grandchildren," McIlroy and Dare said.
The Socialist Alliance senate team will be putting defence of refugee rights and the pledge to nationalise the mines, banks and energy corporations at the centre of their election campaign in coming weeks.
Jim McIlroy is a long-term socialist, retired public servant, and former workplace delegate in the Community and Public Sector Union for 15 years. He has been actively involved in anti-war and international solidarity campaigns for many years.
Reg Dare is a shift worker in the security industry and member of the United Voice Union. He is a member of the Community Action Against Homophobia in Sydney, and involved in the campaign for equal marriage rights.