Customs And Border Security In Australia - RMIT - Essay

1251 words - 6 pages

Customs and Border Security Assessment 1 

A crucial topic that has sparked widespread debate in Australian society is the problems
surrounding immigration and border security. In this paper I detail the emergence of border security
in Australia and the adequacy of this law enforcement agency in protecting our borders. Border
security can be dated back into the early 12th/13th century where it is referenced in the Magna
Carta, which is a crucial document as it that established the principle that everyone is subject to
the law, as a long-standing term for the collection of duties on imports. Border security involves
continuously evolving policies due to the evolution of threats and terrorism, and politics plays a
major role in the protection and maintenance of border security. Furthermore, I describe key points
of border securities emergence and recent political life, as well as how this thinking relates to
globalisation, sovereignty, and security threats.
On May 9th 2014, border security functions in Australia were arranged into a a single operational
organisation consisting of frontline immigration and customs functions, known as the Australian
Border Forces (Australian Customs History, 2018). The Australian Border Force (ABF) is part of the
Department of Home Affairs, and is responsible for all customs and immigration border operations
across two primary functions: Border Control, and Investigations, Compliance and Enforcement,
and on July 1st 2015 was officially established with the main function of border control and
enforcement. Whilst it was only recently formerly constructed, the emergence of border security
can be dated back into the early 12th/13th century where it is referenced in the Magna Carta
(Australian Customs History, 2018). However, in Australia, border security and checking started
around the 1950’s when uniformed, preventive officers would examine the baggage of arriving
passengers on ships, and search vessels which assisted in the deterrence of people from
smuggling contraband into Australia.
Another major turning point in Australia’s history of border security was in the 1970’s which saw the
arrival of the very first boat people, after the conclusion of the Vietnam war. The Australian
Government was under scrutiny about how they would handle the recent influx of foreigners in
Australia. Between 1976 and 1981, roughly 2000 Vietnamese reached our Australian shores
(Australian Customs History, 2018). There was general stigma towards these refugees as media
coverage detailed stories about criminal activity and foreign diseases, but president Fraser was
determined to accept all of these people as refugees. After Australia’s recent abolishment of the
White Australia Policy, Malcolm Fraser, believed that to reject these people would be to undermine
the belief that Australia had changed. With the credit of the opposition leaders, Bill Hayden and
Gough Whitlam, they acted with political decency but not exploiting this decision ,...

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