20 February 2022

Dear Ms Andrews

I am friend of the Centre for a Compassionate Society, which meets every week in the electorate of Melbourne. I live in the electorate of ***. We have committed to writing a letter to your government every week until all refugees and asylum-seekers who remain on Nauru and in PNG under Operation Sovereign Borders are appropriately re-settled. We also seek humane treatment for refugees and asylum seekers on-shore. We are copying this letter to the Prime Minister, the Immigration Minister, the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration, and to our local members of parliament.

We were very pleased to hear your announcement on Thursday that your government is close to an agreement with the New Zealand government to accept their offer to take 150 refugees per annum. We note that this offer has been on the table for 7 years, and that in that time all those currently in detention could have been resettled and be rebuilding their lives. So we hope that this announcement marks a genuine intention on the part of your government to speedily end this intolerable situation in which innocent people are detained for so long. We also note that this quota will mean that some refugees may still wait for lengthy periods, and we beg you to allow them to do so in the community. 

We urge you to conclude these negotiations quickly so that this suffering can end. Surely your government has vilified, rejected and tortured these people long enough, so that to make an issue of the possibility that they might one day seek to come here ‘by the back door’ is just cruel. It is also unnecessary. These people have been so resoundingly demoralised by the Australian Government’s treatment of them that most of them have no wish ever to come back to Australia. 

While you still have a chance, will you leave a legacy of mercy and let these people out to walk free?

Yours sincerely,

*

Send your letter to:

Ms Karen Andrews: karen.andrews.mp@aph.gov.au (Minister for Home Affairs).

Mr Alex Hawke: alex.hawke.mp@aph.gov.au (The Immigration Minister).

Ms Kristina Keneally: senator.keneally@aph.gov.au (Shadow Minister for Immigration and Home affairs).

The Prime Minister via his website HERE.

And to your local Federal MP.

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