"people smugglers" is it? Well actually both sides of politics have been paying people smugglers for years.
Of course, at present, the Opposition is screaming at the Government for doing this - but only because someone, somewhere didn't get paid enough to keep his or her mouth shut. If it had not become public knowledge with the possibility of making some political hay then the Opposition would have said nothing.
People who smuggle people do get paid by governments all over the world. The reasons for doing it are many and varied and not all of those reasons are bad. The two chief reasons for doing it are that (a) it saves a lot of money and (b) it saves lives. I have no doubt that, for governments of all persuasions everywhere, the former is more important than the latter.
I was talking to the son of a once "stateless" man yesterday. His father taught me many years ago. He was not young then and he is a very old man now. He has long been granted Australian citizenship but he doesn't know exactly how old he is or where he was born. He isn't even certain which country he came from.
"Dad still feels lost," his son told me, "Australia has been good to him, very good, but he still hasn't found himself."
We agreed his father probably never will. He will die not knowing who he is or where he came from. In all likelihood the people smugglers or officials took all the papers and gave people false identities - if they bothered with identities at all. They don't do it for reasons of "safety". It is try and ensure that people can't return or be returned to where they came from. Corrupt officials and people smugglers get more money that way - from desperate people trying to get their documents back, and from governments trying to reduce ever increasing costs and deaths.
People smuggling is a vile trade. Stealing you from yourself is unbelievably inhumane.