Australia's appalling and disgraceful treatment of so-called illegal immigrants is nowhere better evidenced than by the detention centres to which people, of all genders and ages were confined, many for years, or the shipment of detainees to Pacific Islands.
PM Howard and people like Amanda Vanstone, Philip Ruddock and Kevin Andrews - all Ministers in the Howard Government - will be remembered as the disgraceful and inhumane people they are and how they conducted themselves and their Government's policies.
An example of how the lives of one family have been ruined emerges from this report in the SMH:
"The Iranian who came to symbolise the debate over asylum seekers during the Howard government era has been awarded compensation of more than $800,000, double previous payouts.
Parviz Yousefi, 40, gained national attention for sewing his lips together, attempting suicide four times and going on hunger strikes after authorities separated him from his wife and son at Woomera detention centre.
He was kept in custody for three years as the government decided whether the Yousefis were genuine refugees despite medical recommendations that he should be released into appropriate care."
As if what these poor people were subjected to wasn't bad enough, now the taxpayer has to pay not only for the extraordinary cost of keeping these desperate people in detention but the compensation now rightly due and payable to them.