Written by Lily Nothling
Produced for online by Elisabeth Moss
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has announced a new deadline for asylum seeker protection claims.
Asylum seekers will now have until October 1 to lodge an application for a temporary protection visa.
If they do not apply, they will run the risk of being deported.
Mr Dutton says it is part of a new scheme to crack down of what he’s calling “fake refugees”.
“We have 7500 people at the moment … who are either refusing to provide any detail, including in some cases even about their identity, refusing to answer questions about their protection claims or indeed refusing to lodge those protection claims.” Mr Dutton says.
Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre executive director and human rights lawyer David Manne says the application process is long and complicated.
“Successive governments left thousands of people in legal limbo, not being allowed to apply for a protection and it was only in 2015 that that bar was lifted to allow people to present their cases for protection,” he says.
Refugee Council of Australia media and campaign officer Laura Stacey says the new deadline is impossible.
“The community legal services here are helping seeking the asylum to make these applications, which are extremely arduous, are completely under-resourced,” she says.
Ms Stacey explains the application documents are long, full of legal jargon and are only available in English.
She says the new deadline is a continuation of the Australian Government’s punitive attitudes towards asylum seekers.
“People have come here in good faith seeking safety, having suffered horrendous experiences in their home countries… and then our Government, rather than offering them the fair go they deserve, they punish them,” Ms Stacey says.