Where the parties stand

Issue 

Coalition

  • Heavily regulate migration, with a strong emphasis on money and skills.

  • Wind back allocation for family reunion and humanitarian entrants.

  • Maintain a cap on overall migration, with the effect of around 1% overall population increase per year.

  • Punish and deter those who try to migrate or seek refuge outside the "proper channels", including mandatory detention without trial and temporary second-class visas for refugees who enter "illegally".

Labor

  • Has no substantial differences from the Coalition.

  • Keep mandatory detention. Punish asylum seekers who arrive unauthorised.

  • Ensure Australia's immigration intake reflects the needs of business.

  • Establish an Office of Population Policy.

  • Establish stronger links with Indonesia, and greater regional cooperation, to solve the issue of people smuggling and unauthorised arrivals.

  • Appoint a Special Australian Representative to promote regional action on people smuggling, to reflect Australia's seriousness.

  • Establish a Coast Guard, "a cop on the beat 52 weeks of the year".

  • Increase Australia's contribution to the UN High Commission for Refugees (currently $20 million a year).

Democrats

  • End mandatory detention, instead favouring reception centres to determine identity, provide health checks.

  • Extend permanent residence to all those found to be refugees, oppose temporary protection visas.

  • Institute community-based arrangements for asylum seekers while claims being processed.

  • Remove those found not to be refugees.

  • Incorporate into Australian law those international conventions which protect people from being returned to face situations of danger in their own countries.

  • End two-year waiting period for social security entitlements.

  • Maintain current immigration levels, but with a heavier emphasis on family reunion and humanitarian intake.

Greens

  • Abolish mandatory detention.

  • Abolish three-year temporary protection visas for refugees who arrive without a visa, and grant immediate permanent residence to all those currently on temporary visas.

  • Institute reception centres to determine identity, provide health checks.

  • Institute community-based arrangements for asylum seekers while claims are being processed.

  • Broaden the term "refugee" to apply to people displaced due to famine, poverty, environmental degradation, war, political oppression and denial of human rights.

  • Restructure immigration system so it is based predominantly on family reunions and other special humanitarian criteria while recognising the importance of the skilled migration category.

  • End language discrimination, reject the requirement to be fluent in English.

  • Grant Full access to social security, legal and interpreter services, English language classes, post-trauma counselling.

  • Increase funding to immigrant service providers.

Socialist Alliance

  • Close the detention centres

  • End mandatory detention

  • Grant full rights for asylum seekers and migrants

  • Abolish the two-year waiting period which prevents newly arrived migrants accessing social security.

  • Abolish temporary protection visas.

  • End all deportations.

  • Remove all restrictive and discriminatory immigration regulations and abolish the pro-business "points" system.

  • Fund specialist services for resettlement.

  • Institute unlimited and free English classes.

  • Extend full citizenship rights including the right to vote to all refugees and migrants.