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Temporary Protection Visas: Sample Letter to Prime Minister

                                                                                                                                                20th January 2020
Dear Prime Minister,
Please find enclosed an open letter, addressed to yourself, and signed by 574 Australian citizens. Their signatures were collected in recent times at local markets by members of our local Rural Australians for Refugees group. The letter reads:
We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the government’s continued use of temporary protection visas for people arriving in Australia who are subsequently found to be genuine refugees and who therefore are entitled to protection. Under international law, temporary protection visas should only be used in exceptional circumstances. They should not be used as a policy response to target people who simply arrive on our shores without a valid visa. These temporary visas, whether TPVs or SHEVs, leave refugees in a permanent state of uncertainty and anxiety, when what they so urgently need is a sense of security to enable them to rebuild their lives. The restrictions imposed by these temporary visas, not least the ban on family reunion, present enormous and unnecessary barriers to successful resettlement. The mental health impacts of this policy are well documented.
We call on the government to end this cruel practice and to provide permanent protection visas for all refugees who currently hold TPVs or SHEVs.
A number of us have refugee friends and acquaintances who have TPVs. They make a positive contribution to Australian society and to their local communities. Their children work hard at school and are determined to succeed in their studies. But their lives are full of uncertainty and anxiety about what the future may hold for them because of the temporary nature of their visas.
We do not need to treat people in this way. Temporary protection visas serve no useful humanitarian purpose, and they should be scrapped, as they were by a previous Labor government. We need to allow these people to get on with their lives in Australia, without the fear of having to go through the whole process of revisiting their protection claims every three or five years.
Please show some empathy and humanity by abandoning this completely unnecessary and harmful policy.  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Yours sincerely, 

Bellingen and Nambucca District RAR

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