Australia’s two leading political parties, the ruling Liberal-National coalition and the Labor opposition, both support tough asylum policies.
They say the journey the asylum seekers make is dangerous and controlled by criminal gangs, and they have a duty to stop it.
The coalition government made Australia’s asylum policy even tougher, when it took power in 2013, introducing Operation Sovereign Borders, which put the military in control of asylum operations.
Under this policy military vessels patrol Australian waters and intercept migrant boats, towing them back to Indonesia or sending asylum seekers back in inflatable dinghies or lifeboats.
The government says its policies have restored the integrity of its borders, and helped prevent deaths at sea.