Islam Times: Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said those who decide to come to Australia and put their children on boats should work on the basis that they will not stay in Australia and will be taken to Malaysia.
Mr Bowen said to the Australian Associated Press: “No blanket exemptions. I'll not have the situation where we provide a reward for people who put their children on a boat and undertake that dangerous journey”.
“ I know, sure as night follows day, that if you've blanket exemptions people smugglers would exploit that loophole and put children on boats, and we'd be dealing with the dangerous situation of boatloads of children” he added.
The Australian Immigration Department said it had checked the ages of all asylum seekers that were found on the latest boatload of asylum seekers and confirmed there were 18 children, including 13 who were unaccompanied.
The high proportion of children on the vessel had been interpreted as a deliberate move by people smugglers to test the government's resolve in implementing its Malaysian solution.