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Oct 11, 2011

Escape custody, no problem, provide jobs, you’re in trouble.

Lets just try to figure this one out. Three Vietnamese detainees abscond from immigration and are picked up three weeks later. They were found to be working on the mango harvest at Adelaide River, about 110 Km to the south:

The men were being held at the Northern Immigration Detention Centre and were on a supervised day-release visit to a church last month when they slipped away. They had been missing for three weeks.

Northern Territory Police Watch Commander Bob Harrison says officers in the community of Adelaide River, about 110 kilometres south of Darwin, noticed a group of men in a car acting suspiciously and pulled them over. He says the men had been working while they were been on the run.

"The chap who was driving the car told them (police) they had all been picking mangoes in the Darwin region.”

Commander Harrison says the men have been handed over to immigration officials and do not face any criminal charges under Territory law. However, the people who had been employing them are likely to be investigated, he says.
The detainees apparently did no damage and used subterfuge to carry out their escape, and supported themselves by taking a job. However in any case of legal detention, escape is in itself a criminal act even if as in this case, they are only being held while their refugee status is checked. But in this case these guys deserve a bit of respect.

Back in the good old days though, providing a job was not a crime. The picking season for this fruit is short and critical, and producers would be anxious to take any willing worker, which is not unreasonable. It is an outrage that anyone can be made a criminal for providing a job without being an immigration snitch.

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