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Australian Government needs to expedite bridging visas for Afghans

 

The Australian Government should immediately issue bridging visas to Afghan people in Afghanistan who have made substantive visa applications, the Greens say.

“The Government must expedite visas to give people at least a chance to leave Afghanistan and get to safety,” Greens Immigration and Citizenship spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

“We understand that the situation around the Kabul Airport is extremely dangerous and unpredictable, and people may not be able to access flights.”

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Prospective Marriage Visa holders

The Greens welcome the news that holders of Prospective Marriage Visas, who applied more than 12 months ago, will be exempt from the travel ban.

"This is an epic win for couples who have been unfairly separated through the pandemic," Greens Immigration and Citizenship spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

"They already had to prove their relationships to the Department, and spent thousands of dollars on paperwork."

"Their relationships and marriages have been unnecessarily put on hold, and it's great they can now resume their lives together."

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Morrison's Afghan Refugee Offer an Insult

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s refusal to increase Australia’s humanitarian intake to respond to the Afghanistan crisis is an insult and a failure of leadership, the Greens say.

“Given Australia’s decades of interference in Afghanistan and our culpability for the current instability, today’s announcement is grossly inadequate and a complete failure of leadership,” Greens spokesperson for Immigration and Citizenship Nick McKim said.

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Australia must go beyond our annual humanitarian intake to support Afghanistan

The Greens have responded to reports the Australian Government will pause deportations to Afghanistan, saying it is not nearly enough given our culpability for the current crisis.

The Greens are calling on the federal government to provide 20,000 permanent protection visas, in addition to Australia’s annual humanitarian intake, for Afghan people with a well-founded fear of being persecuted by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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Australia must respond to Afghanistan crisis

The Australian Government should provide immediate assistance to Afghan people both on the ground in Afghanistan and by providing protection here in Australia.

“Australia should immediately offer permanent protection visas for up to 20,000 people from Afghanistan who are at risk of persecution from the Taliban,” Greens Immigration and Citizenship spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

“The Canadian government has recently announced that it will do this, and we should follow suit.”

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Greens to move in Senate against India travel ban

The Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt, has announced the Greens will move in the Senate next week for the Government to revoke its direction under the Biosecurity Act to ban and put in place criminal penalties on Australians and residents returning home from India.

“The ban is racist, it’s possibly illegal, it’s not based on health advice and it must be rescinded immediately.  The Greens will move in the Senate next week to overturn the ban and we believe it will have widespread support amongst Senators.”

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Australia has an obligation to refugees who have contracted COVID

Refugees that the Australian Government exiled to Papua New Guinea contracting COVID should prompt their immediate evacuation to Australia, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“For years, Labor and Liberal Governments have deliberately withheld adequate medical treatment from people in their care,” Senator McKim said.

“The refugees who have contracted COVID need to be medevacced to Australia, and all other refugees in PNG need to be brought to Australia to prevent them contracting the illness.”

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Release of refugees from hotel detention a belated humanitarian step

 

The overdue release of dozens of refugees from immigration detention is a very welcome glimmer of humanity in Australia’s refugee policy, Greens Immigration Spokesperson Senator Nick McKim says.

“These men have been through so much for so long, and for them now to be able to breathe free air is a wonderful step forward for them,” Senator McKim said. 

“There are still over 150 people who suffered through years of offshore detention detained in Australia. They should also be immediately released.”

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