Bishop Vincent Long, chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, has welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision to accept an extra 12,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq. His comments came at yesterday's launch of the Council's Social Justice Statement.
"This is a generous response to suffering that demonstrates the compassion of the Australian people," said Bishop Long.
"These are the sort of vulnerable people we should focus on when responding to claims for refugee status," he added.
Bishop Long was speaking at the launch of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ 2015- 2016 Social Justice Statement entitled: For Those Who’ve Come Across the Seas: Justice for refugees and asylum seekers.
The statement calls for the processing of asylum-seeker claims onshore and for the limitation of detention in immigration facilities to the shortest period possible while identity, health and security checks are undertaken.
Council members say no child should be detained solely on the basis of immigration status and affirm that all children are entitled to a healthy family life with the support and nurture of their parents.
Speakers at the launch included Phil Glendenning, President of the Refugee Council of Australia and Director of the Edmund Rice Centre, and Professor Mary Crock, Professor of Public Law University of Sydney.
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