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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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Budget shows cuts to humanitarian intake

Cutting 20,000 places from Australia's humanitarian intake is cruel and unnecessary, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

"The Liberals' decision to reduce Australia's humanitarian intake from 18,750 to 13,750 for the next four years is devastating to displaced people around the world and the millions of Australians who want a compassionate refugee policy," Senator McKim said.

"That is 20,000 men, women and children who will remain displaced because of deliberate decisions taken by this Government."

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Expanded values test is unnecessary

The Government’s attempts to force citizens through an expanded values test is unnecessary, the Greens say, while welcoming the commitment to expanded language classes.

“Arbitrary tests don't make a society more cohesive,” Greens Leader Adam Bandt MP said. 

“Scott Morrison locks up asylum seekers and Peter Dutton attacks African Australians. Instead of attacking multiculturalism and democracy, Scott Morrison should value them.

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Prohibited Items Bill

The Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2020 is irredeemable and must be rejected by the Senate, the Greens say in their Dissenting Report to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiry.

”The amendments proposed by this Bill are punitive, disproportionate and contrary to Australia's international human rights commitments,” Greens Immigration spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

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Behrouz Boochani

Comments from Greens Immigration spokesperson Senator Nick McKim on New Zealand's decision to grant asylum to Behrouz Boochani:

"New Zealand granting asylum to Behrouz Boochani shows what true compassion from a government looks like, and shows Australia’s polices up for the cruel and dangerous disgrace that they are."

"This is bittersweet news. Behrouz is free at last but so many others remain in exile or in prison. We have stolen their hope and their dreams, and it’s time to give them back."

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Release refugees from high risk Mantra hotel

Confirmation that an immigration detention guard at the Mantra Hotel in Melbourne has tested positive for Covid-19 reinforces the need for detainees to be released into community detention says Greens Immigration Spokesperson Senator Nick McKim, who has visited the Mantra and seen first-hand the cramped conditions.

“This is an extremely concerning development as the virus will spread like wildfire if it gets a foothold in immigration detention facilities,” McKim said.

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Prohibited Items Bill

The Government’s latest attempt to prohibit items in immigration detention centres is a massive overreach, Greens Immigration spokesperson Nick McKim says.

“This is a transparent attempt to cut people in immigration detention off from the outside world,” Senator McKim said.

“Phones in immigration detention are absolutely essential.”

“They allow people to stay in touch with friends and family, and they also help shine the disinfectant of sunlight on abuses which are all too common.”

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Visa Holders

The Australian government should develop and publicly release criteria for temporary visa holders to be allowed to return to Australia.
 
During the COVID-19 select committee hearing today it was revealed that Australian Border Force officials have no criteria for granting exemptions to the travel ban for ‘compelling and compassionate’ grounds.
 
“The decision making on this has been completely arbitrary, leaving hundreds of people stranded overseas, despite holding valid visas,” Greens Immigration spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.
 

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