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Fact check: Are people seeking asylum who come by boat economic migrants?

Most people seeking asylum who have come by boat have been found to be refugees. According to the Australian Parliamentary Library, between 70-100% have typically been found to be refugees.

Read our detailed analysis here

Even if a person is found not to be a refugee, however, it doesn’t mean that the person is an economic migrant or that his or her refugee claim was ‘made up’. It simply means that the person isn’t a refugee.

For example, some people may fear persecution but they don’t have enough evidence for their claims.  They may fear mistreatment which isn’t serious enough to meet the definition of refugee.

The Government may also think they can move to a safe area within their home countries. The situation may have changed as well in their home countries.

A person is often poor because they are because being persecuted. For example, minorities who are discriminated against will find it harder to get a job or to access basic services. Governments may take away property from people as part of their persecution. So there is no neat line between poverty and persecution.

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