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letter to Alan Tudge Minister for Human Services - latest changes for asylum seekers

From: Mike
Sent: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 7:55 PM
Subject: Latest changes for asylum seekers

Dear Mr Tudge,
Over recent days, I have been reading about the government’s latest plans for asylum seekers and refugees who have been brought to Australia over a period of time to receive medical treatment.  My reaction, and the reaction of all those I have spoken to, including many of the 100 people who signed  a Rural Australians for Refugees petition at a market stall on Sunday, is one of anger and disbelief. You will be aware that, following widespread protests at earlier attempts to forcibly return this group to Nauru and Manus island, the government agreed to allow them to stay. One third of these people are children, some of them born here, and others attending school. Your government is now saying that their meagre allowance will cease as of yesterday, and that in three weeks’ time, they will be made deliberately homeless, in a cruel and inhumane bid to coerce them into leaving Australia. 
Where are these people expected to go? The detention centres on Nauru and Manus are both due to close in a matter of weeks, and the 370+ people in this group have been barred from seeking resettlement in the US. Attempting to coerce them into returning to their countries of origin amounts to refoulement, which, as you know, is forbidden under the Refugee Convention, to which Australia is a signatory. 
These people are living in our communities and are trying to rebuild their shattered lives.  How do you imagine they might feel on receiving a document which chillingly includes the following statement: “Please remind your children that they will also be required to abide by Australian values and laws. Breaking Australian laws may result in their removal from the community.”?
This is not about saving lives or protecting our borders. Nor is it about saving taxpayers’ money, given that it costs in excess of $500,000 per annum to torment a refugee in these offshore hell holes.  This is nothing more than yet another cruel and calculated ploy  designed to punish the most vulnerable in our society for political ends. You will be judged harshly by your electorate if you continue with this inhumane policy.
I urge you to reconsider this latest affront to the Australian values of compassion and humanity. Please, for once, put principle before political calculation, and allow these refugees to remain in Australia.
Yours sincerely,

Mike Griffin

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