Urgent support needed for people seeking asylum in Australia

The Social Justice Forum’s Give Hope calls on Uniting Church members for the urgent support of people seeking asylum in Australia, who face homelessness and the forcible return to detention.

As of Monday 28th August, the Government began issuing a new type of visa – ‘Final Departure Bridging Visa E’. This visa has been issued to vulnerable people seeking asylum that have been living in community detention. This comes after they were transferred to Australia from offshore detention centres for medical reasons. It is reported that 60 people have already received this visa and up to 400 others, including children, will be next.

Under the new visa conditions, all income support (roughly $100 per week) is cut immediately and people are given three weeks to find their own housing. The length of the Visa is six months and it’s understood that, after this time, people are expected to be moved back to offshore detention or have made arrangements to return to their country of origin.

The NGO sector sees this move as a deliberate attempt to make life so unbearable that people seeking asylum are forced to return home to danger or back into offshore detention.

This is the second time the Uniting Church has advocated for the rights and protection of this particular group, rallying around them during the #LetThemStay campaign in early 2016 to prevent their forced return to the hell of offshore detention. Those efforts saw the group allowed to remain in Australia indefinitely.

Now, the Give Hope team are hoping to mobilize Uniting Church members to again help this group of vulnerable people.

Here’s how you can help

  1. Provide practical support: You can do this by sending in gift cards for major supermarket retailers (e.g. Woolworths is ideal), department stores and pharmacies to the Give Hope Team. We’ll bundle these up and pass them onto the team at the Asylum Seeker Centre in Newtown (ASC). The ASC team is on the ground working to support those in NSW/ACT who are in the #LetThemStay group. Vouchers can be sent to: Give Hope Team, PO BOX 7137 Silverwater NSW 2128.

Alternatively, you may choose make a donation to one of the major organisations working to help. CLICK HERE for info on where to donate.

  1. Write to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection: We’ve made it easy for you to contact Mr Turnbull and Mr Dutton to express your anger about the recent decisions. It’s important that we show widespread outrage throughout the community at our Government’s cruelty.  Simply follow this link, edit the message text as you wish, and send: https://socialjusticeforum.good.do/letthemstay/letthemstay/
  2.  Meet with your local Federal MP: Meeting with your local Federal Member is an ideal way of showing them that, as a constituent, you won’t support a government that treats innocent people and children this way. Contact us for any support you need to organise a meeting, prepare and follow up.

You can contact Alex Hogan at the Give Hope Team for any questions or further information: ahogan@uniting.org / 02 9407 3230 / 0423 503 998




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