Weekly media wrap - 3 January 2016

Cabinet papers from the early ‘90s were released by the National Archives. A cabinet paper written by former Labor Immigration Minister Gerry Hand foreshadowed many contemporary issues in Australian asylum and immigration policy. Hand argued that successful claims for protection by asylum seekers should not result in the automatic grant of permanent residence (a policy since implemented) and for the removal of the right to judicial review of visa decisions.

Refugee bodies are preparing for the arrival of 12,000 Syrian refugees to begin in early 2016. Refugee Council of Australia communications director Tim O’Conner said that the RCOA had received many calls from people every day saying ‘we want to help, we’ve got a spare room’.

A recent survey by the Scanlon Foundation showed that 86% of Australians remain supportive of multiculturalism, the highest level recorded since the survey was introduced in 2007.

A man sentenced to death in Malaysia for the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu remains in immigration detention in Australia. Sirul Azhar applied for a protection visa in early 2015 and was advised last week that the assessment is ongoing.

Over one million refugees and migrants have fled to Europe by sea in 2015 according to figures released by the UNHCR. Meanwhile, Sweden is moving to tighten its borders in 2016 as the government cuts off asylum seekers' automatic entitlement to permanent residency. Asylum seekers who arrive will only be able to remain in Sweden temporarily – for one to three years.