Long condemns government over asylum-seeker cuts

Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv. (ACBC)

Parramatta Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv. yesterday condemned the Turnbull government's withdrawal of support for asylum-seekers who have come to Australia for medical reasons, the ACBC Media Blog reports.

In a statement released yesterday Bishop Long, the Bishops Delegate for Migrants and Refugees, said the decision left vulnerable asylum-seekers as risk of further harm. He urged the government to reconsider the decision.

The full statement is below:

It is of great concern that we have heard of the Australian Government’s plans to withdraw support to refugees who have come to Australia for medical treatment. These men, women, and children were brought to Australia from offshore detention centres, to remove support for them leaves them vulnerable to exploitation, and risks leaving them destitute.

As refugees, these men, women, and children, are under the care of the Australian Government. To deny them appropriate support is to leave them at a risk of further harm.

These people, some with history of mental health largely due to prolonged detention by the Australian Government policy, have been searching for safety and a better life; they deserve more than this treatment.

I urge the Australian Government to continue to provide support services for these men, women, and children, who are awaiting a resolution to their current situation. As a well-resourced nation with a long tradition of caring for migrants and refugees, we can do better than to throw a small number of refugees out onto the streets. It is a bridge too far. It is cruel and simply un-Australian.

People seeking asylum are some of the most vulnerable members of our global community. It is imperative that they are treated humanely and with dignity. I urge the Australian Government to honour its international obligations, and continue its work within the region and with non-government organisations to ensure the safety of those seeking asylum.

FULL STORY

Media statement on withdrawal of refugee support (ACBC Media Blog)

RELATED COVERAGE

The appalling mathematics of offshore detention (The Age)

Lawyers the last line of defence for dumped refugees (Eureka Street)

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