Last updated at 14:50 GMT, Monday, 19 March 2012

Australia immigration abuse

Summary

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.

Reporter

Phil Mercer

An immigrant

An immigrant

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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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Vocabulary

asylum seekers

people looking for shelter from danger in their home country

valid

proper, correct

refugee status

official category that says someone has been forced to leave their country

immigration officer

official responsible for checking those entering a country

cheated

tricked

disreputable

having bad character

fake

invented

to pose as

to pretend to be

to convince

to persuade

merits

quality to deserve reward

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