Mohammed and Fatima come from the Islamic Kingdom of Nastystan. They wish to leave, and they hear that Australia is a nice place - ie you don't get your genitals removed for stealing bread there. So they apply to the Australian embassy for permission to emigrate. What they are told surprises them.
"No one emigrates any more. There are no refugees, visas or anything else in Australia. Since the Hypothetical Party took government, this is how things work: you come to Australia whenever you like, and you are declared a Probationary Australian Citizen. After you survive your probation, you are Australian, and that's that. No exceptions, no discrimination."
And so it is. Mohammed and Fatima travel (somehow - by QANTAS Airlines or people smuggler, it matters not under this new scheme) to Australia, and arrive in Darwin (far north, the closest largish city to Indonesia). They are each met by a translator who speaks fluent Nastystani, and who explains their new status. If they agree, they will first be implanted with microwave responders, so they can be tracked by the new Department of Citizenship. They are informed that they will be moved to Brisbane, where they will begin compulsory training and their first work assignments. They will receive a subsistence wage and live in barracks outside the city, from which they can come and go as they please. If they have particular skills and training that may be of use in Australia, this will be taken into account in their job assignments. They are required to report to a DoC Probation Officer once a week, to discuss any problems they're having and fine tune their conditions. Failure to report (without a good reason) is a Deportable Offence. They have a permanent blood alcohol limit of 0.02 (the same as probationary drivers in Australia, but they don't have the right to drive vehicles so it applies all the time). They must not commit any crimes, even moderate ones like shoplifting. They must must apply for permission to have children, and can be penalised for not applying if Fatima gets pregnant, although the Department stops short of requiring chemical sterilisation or compulsory abortion. And they may not remove their transmitters. If they disobey these laws, they will be deported home to Nastystan and not permitted to return.
Mohammed and Fatima consider their position. If they say no to these conditions, they will be placed on a plane or boat back home. They will not be permitted to try again for five years. It's now or never.
They say yes. They are now Probationary Australian Citizens.
Obviously the situation is open to abuse. A corrupt police officer or an abusive employer can get a PAC into huge trouble, but it's hoped that PACs will develop a relationship with their Probationary Officer to minimize such conflicts. If necessary, PAC families can be shifted from one city to another - for example, six months after arriving, Fatima reports that she was sexually assaulted by her supervisor at the cannery, so she and Mohammed are promptly shifted to Perth, Western Australia, where their probation continues with no other penalty; meanwhile the supervisor is prosecuted under Australian law, as if he had assaulted an ordinary citizen.
In general, however, Fatima and Mohammed do not complain, despite being treated as second class citizens and having far fewer liberties than locally-born Australians. Regardless of what they go through as PACs, they could be suffering far worse, not only back home in Nastystan but also in the long-gone, unlamented Indonesian refugee camps.
The cost to Australia is significant, maintaining the PAC barracks and administering the influx of people. But the costs are offset by savings: the detention centres are a thing of the past, and the border patrols and immigration checkpoints are pretty much perfunctory now. And a year after Mohammed and Fatima arrive in Australia, they receive a special posting. Mohammed was a doctor back in Nastystan, and with a year's intensive english training he's now ready to go somewhere that no doctor has been before: the small New South Wales town of Dustiblah, to which no (Australian) doctor could bear to be posted. As Mohammed says, "I've been to places where they would call this paradise. I call it home!"
The work is tough, and poorly paid - PACs have enough to eat, and their accommodation is dormitory-style and not very exciting, but they're not much left for luxuries. But they have a chance, which they didn't before, and in five years - or three years for Mohammed, given his sterling work in his adopted community - they will go under the knife to remove those transmitters. They will be Australian.
So there you go. That's my idea, off the top of my head. I'm interested to read your comments.
: Fruitbat :