19 March 2012
A former immigration officer in Australia has claimed that thousands of Chinese people have tried to enter the country with false documents. It's claimed that they have been supported by corrupt officials in China and dishonest migration agents in Australian cities.
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Most Chinese asylum seekers enter Australia on valid student or tourist visas and then apply for refugee status.
Patricia Cruise worked as an immigration officer reviewing such claims for eight years. She says the process is being routinely cheated by applicants from China.
It's alleged they're helped by disreputable migration agents, who give them fake stories to learn and false documents to sign.
It's alleged that Chinese asylum seekers are told to pose as members of the banned Falun Gong movement to convince Australian authorities to allow them to stay.
Australian immigration officials have not responded to the allegations but said in a statement that each refugee case "was assessed on its merits."
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- asylum seekers
people looking for shelter from danger in their home country
- refugee status
official category that says someone has been forced to leave their country
- immigration officer
official responsible for checking those entering a country
having bad character
- to pose as
to pretend to be
- to convince
quality to deserve reward