Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, recently announced that any people seeking asylum who have not yet submitted their protection visa application must do so by October 1 or they will lose their right to apply for refuge, and will be deported back to the countries they fled. This applies to thousands of people.
What is unfair about this?
- These people had been prevented for years from submitting applications, until recently when the government began allowing them to apply on invitation only.
- The application process is particularly complicated, and people need skilled legal support.
- Some people did not receive their invitations until October last year, and by then refugee legal services had thousands of people on their waiting lists.
- The government has withdrawn funding for legal services to assist people seeking asylum. Many services have to do their own fundraising to cover the costs of lawyers to assist the huge number of people needing legal assistance.
- People who have been contributing to their local communities for years, patiently waiting to apply for protection visas, could deported back to serious danger.
- Everyone deserves a fair process to have their case for refuge considered. Minister Dutton is denying people of this.
ARAN is calling for all refugee advocacy and activist groups across the nation to take action in their local communities. Suggested actions include:
- Sign and circulate the GetUp petition widely
- Hold a public protest, focusing on the lack of fairness and due process in the protection visa application process
- Meet with your local MP, taking along a copy of the application form (866 or 790 form on the Border Force website) to discuss the complex nature of the application process
- Use the pages of an 866 form or 790 form as the basis for some creative actions (display them outside MP’s offices, set up a form-filling challenge, use them to make a display or art installation etc.)
- Write letters to the editor of your local newspaper, using some of the points above to highlight the injustice of Dutton’s announcement
- Call your local talkback radio station when anything relevant (refugees, immigration, legal aid etc.) is being discussed
- Write letters and emails, and make calls, to local MPs, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, The Prime Minister and Shadow Minister Shayne Neumann:
Find contact details for your local MP here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Senators_and_Members/Members
Read the ABC’s report here