Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has launched yet another unfair and extreme attack on refugees and people seeking asylum.
Mr Dutton has announced that people seeking asylum will have until October 1 to lodge an application for protection or they will be cut off from Government payments, subject to removal from Australia, and banned from re-entering the country. The announcement is expected to affect 7,500 people.
This comes after the Government has already cut legal support for people seeking asylum and put a freeze on the granting of protection visas - a freeze which was only lifted for all people seeking asylum in late 2016.
These people have waited for over 4 years to apply for protection and now they have been given only up to 4 months to lodge their applications.
Surely the Turnbull Government should be ensuring that our refugee determination system is fair, efficient and transparent where each person's case is examined fairly. People seeking asylum in our community are being set up to fail.
This is simply the latest attempt by Peter Dutton and the Turnbull Government to deny people seeking asylum a fair chance. Since coming to office in 2013, they have:
- Created protection visa application forms that are so complex they are very difficult to complete without legal assistance;
- Removed funding for refugee legal support services;
- Removed access to proper review processes, which means if someone makes a mistake on these incredibly complex application forms, they may have no appeal rights; and
- Imposed a freeze on the granting of protection visas - a freeze which was only lifted for all people seeking asylum in November 2016.
Call Malcolm Turnbull, Bill Shorten and your local MP
Malcolm Turnbull - (02) 6277 7700
Bill Shorten - (02) 6277 4022
You can find your local MP and Senator and their contact details here. Simply type your postcode and you will find the name of your MP and their contact details.
Key Message: Please stop sending these letters - every application should be assessed fairly.
- All we are asking is that people have access to a fair process - some people have waited up to four years to be able to apply for a protection visa; now they have only been given four months to complete complex forms
- The applications forms are incredibly complex and long - they are virtually impossible to complete without access to legal support. Unfortunately, this assistance has also been cut by this Government
- What is the Government hoping to achieve by creating these arbitrary deadlines? Surely we should be ensuring that our refugee determination system is fair, efficient and transparent where each person's case is examined fairly
- Everyone has the right to live in safety. Forcing people to rush their applications simply increases the risk people will be returned to harm
- When we treat people seeking asylum with compassion and dignity, they can get on with rebuilding their lives in our communities
Be constructive, not argumentative
When talking to politicians and their offices, the most effective approach is to be conciliatory. We want to have constructive conversations - getting into arguments is not productive and just makes people defensive.