(FILES) This photo taken on September 21, 2015 shows Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton arriving at Parliament House in Canberra. / AFP / PETER PARKS
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Australia's immigration minister was accused of xenophobia Wednesday after he said increasing the nation's refugee intake would lead to "illiterate and innumerate" people claiming welfare or taking local jobs.Peter Dutton was responding to proposals by the Labor opposition to boost Australia's annual refugee intake from 13,750 to 27,000 while the Greens want it raised to 50,000 as they outline policies ahead of national elections on July 2 . Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen, a former immigration minister, said the country had benefited hugely from the contribution of refugees over the years and criticized Dutton's comments.Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young went further, accusing Dutton of xenophobia.Dutton won support from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop who said he was only being realistic about the cost of resettling even more refugees.
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