No One Left Behind: Permanent Visas for all Refugees
There are 19,000 people living in Australia on temporary protection (TPV) or Safe Haven Enterprise (SHEV) visas. Another 10,000 were refused a visa under the Coalition’s fast-track system – that is neither fair nor fast – and are living on even more precarious bridging visas.
For ten years and longer, they have led precarious existence on temporary visas that have had to be renewed; they have struggled to find permanent jobs, denied family reunion and denied even to travel and the right to tertiary education.
Despite the promise to grant them permanent visas, Labor’s delay means that TPV holders are still being denied the right to travel, and refugees are left waiting while the renewal of their temporary visas is stuck in the bureaucracy.
Afghans who were refused a protection visa on the false basis that Kabul was safe are still on ‘removal pending’ bridging visas, or on expired bridging visas with no income support, and no right to work.
There are hundreds of Nadesalingham families who need safety and the security of a permanent visa. They could be granted a permanent visa as easily as the Biolela family was.
On election night Anthony Albanese said that under Labor ‘no one would be held back, and no one would be left behind.’ But refugees and asylum seekers are being left behind, and not just temporary visa holders in Australia.
Every day matters when you have been left in limbo for 10 years and families are separated.
Justice delayed is justice denied, and all these refugees have been denied justice for too long.
Article (24Aug2022) by Paul Gregoire: “A Crime Against Humanity”: Independent MP Andrew Wilkie on Ending Mandatory Detention
CRISP (Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Plan) – wonderful opportunity for churches to support refugees. Learn more here.
Letter writing campaign for August 2022
Focus: Abolish the ‘Fast Track’ Assessment Process
Introduced by Coalition Government in 2013 to assess protection claims more quickly, ‘Fast Track Processing’ was implemented by changes to the Migration Act 1958. (Maritime Powers Amendment: Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload Act 2014).
‘Fast track’ replaced the Refugee Review Tribunal, an independent merits review system, with a new body, called the Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA) that no longer heard directly from people claiming asylum, but was generally restricted to information from the Department of Immigration.
‘Fast Track’ is NOT fast, despite its claims of rapid assessment, review and removal. Many people are still waiting for a decision on their claims.
People who arrived by boat and sought asylum between August 2012 and January 2014, and also refugees who are reapplying for Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEVs) are subject to Fast Track Assessment and Removal Processes. As of December 2021, 31,122 people were classified as being in the Legacy Caseload. Most of these people have been subject to ‘Fast Track’.
You might consider writing a letter/email as part of a campaign to abolish the ‘Fast Track Assessment Process. All resources here.
Video resources – refugees telling their stories
short videos of refugees who settled in the Lismore area – could be used in services and events for Refugee Week.
J4RSA Priorities for Change with supporting summary documents, Economic Resources List, and Health Impacts on Refugees in Detention.
Words that Work Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has developed a brilliant resource on how to speak on refugee and people seeking asylum issues
Clear answers to curly questions RCOA
Principles for Australian Refugee Policy Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law
Federal Election Comparisons RCOA
Freedom Street documentary (arrange a screening in your community/congregation)
2022 Catholic Advocacy for Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Refugees and Asylum Seekers – A Catholic Perspective (2022)
Links to groups
CAPSA Action for Afghanistan, Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum
FoR, Friends of Refugees
Grandmothers for Refugees Ballarat and Bendigo
Email Ballarat: grandmothersballarat [a] gmail.com
Bendigo Grandmothers activities can be found here and on Facebook. Email Bendigo: gadrc.bendigo [a] gmail.com