Last September, 26 Lebanese nationals drowned off the coast of Indonesia when a boat smuggling them to Australia sank. (AFP/Stringer)
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Labor's immigration spokesman Richard Marles said the government should be ensuring that asylum-seekers' claims were being properly processed, not issuing "blank checks".Australia has toughened its policy on asylum-seekers in recent years, with those arriving on unauthorized boats now refused residency in Australia even if they are deemed refugees.Instead, they are held in detention camps on Manus and Nauru and are expected to be resettled in those countries if their claims are valid. Since the policy was introduced, more asylum-seekers have chosen to voluntarily return to their country of origin while the number of people attempting to reach Australia by boat has dried up, with no boats arriving for six months.
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