ARAN (Australian Refugee Action Network) is calling for refugee action
UNREASONABLE TIMELINES TO LODGE APPLICATIONS DENY ASYLUM RIGHTS – Please take action now
ARAN (Australian Refugee Action Network) is calling for refugee action and advocacy groups and individuals across Australia to participate in some kind of action, from now until Monday March 13, to demand that this new policy be abandoned.
You may have heard that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection recently sent letters to some people on Bridging Visas to advise that, unless they lodge their protection visa applications within 14 – 30 days, they may lose their right to asylum. Human rights lawyer David Manne has called this approach ‘draconian and dangerous’. (http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/draconian-and-dangerous-despair-over-fresh-crackdown-on-asylum-seekers-20170223-guk3of.html)
The government has forced people onto waiting lists for legal support by:
1) Developing protection visa application forms which cannot be adequately completed without legal assistance (the forms are very complex, and incomplete information can mean that claims for asylum are rejected)
2) Removing funding for refugee legal support services
3) Banning anyone from submitting an application for four years, and then suddenly expecting more than 25,000 people to complete their applications all at once
4) Failing to process, in a timely manner, the Freedom of Information requests needed to access records that are crucial for applications
The letters state that those who receive them, must submit their protection visa applications within 14 – 30 days, otherwise they
– Will lose their income support
– May not be issued with another Bridging Visa
– May lose their work rights and Medicare
– May lose access to other services and support
– May be prevented from being allowed to submit an application for a protection visa at all – This is a grave injustice which would result in people being deported to unsafe places, and being at risk of further persecution and even death.
Contact MPs: Key message: People should not be penalised for a problem that that the government has created. Not allowing people time to access appropriate legal support is a denial of natural justice, and incorrect decisions on life and death matters. Rushing applications will put some people at risk of deportation to danger.
Call and/or email Peter Dutton Phone: (07) 3205 9977 (Strathpine) or (02) 6277 7860 (Canberra) Email: email@example.com
Call and/or email Malcolm Turnbull – Phone: (02) 6277 7700 (Canberra) or (02) 9327 3988 (Wentworth)
Call or phone your local MP. You can find their details via this link, by entering your postcode
Visit your local MP – Request a meeting to discuss this issue. It’s vital that local MPs understand what is happening, and hear our concerns. If your local MP is a Labor member, we suggest you ask that Labor publicly oppose this measure.
Organise a rally or protest – This could be outside your local MP’s office, or at another community venue. Perhaps print copies of the 866 or 790 forms and use these as props/posters for your action.