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On air: Has Arizona got it right on immigration?

Pandita Louram | 10:21 UK time, Wednesday, 7 July 2010

_48261555_009748050-1.jpgLawmakers in Arizona wanted to give police the power to stop those who look like illegal immigrants on the street. At the time we asked you: is the law racist? Now they've been stopped by the US government. Australian politicians have a number of solutions to deal with refugees including turning back the boats or setting up new detention centres.

One thing's for certain. Everyone's afraid. Illegal immigrants of being found out. Asylum seekers of being sent back. Governments of jeopardising security.

Arizona lawmakers attracted controversy in April when they gave police the power to stop people in the street if they had 'reasonable suspicion' they were illegal immigrants. Critics saw it as tantamount to racial profiling. Others went even further - calling it inhuman.

Now President Obama has stepped in and is trying to overturn Arizona's immigration bill.

Meanwhile in Australia, Prime Minster Julia Gillard has announced plans for a refugee processing centre in East Timor for those seeking asylum. She says this will help put an end to people trafficking. The leader of the opposition party in Australia has taken a similarly hard line insisting he would reinstate a policy of turning back the boats.

But are detention centres really the best solution? In Norway, asylum seekers facing deportation are now in custody after allegedly burning down the shelter they'd been detained in.

Meanwhile, the UK border agency has criticised some ports in Wales for their limited approach to immigration control - something it regards as a risk to the nation's security.

So what is the best way to control illegal immigration? Let us know what you think here or by joining the conversation on our Facebook page.

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