Unions, welfare and community groups unite against refugee deportations

Contributed from Victoria

Australians against the inhuman treatment of refugees at the hands of the Turnbull government, will welcome the news that Churches, charities, unions, community groups have activists in a  have vowed together, to resist the current crackdown on and denial of medical treatment.

Fairfax Media has revealed that leaked documents show that under a new visa, known as the “final departure bridging E visa,” the plan is to end income support for up to 100 refugees, give then only three weeks to leave or be forcefully deported back to Nauru, Manus or back to their country of origin.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Salvation Army and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, GetUp and others have responded by stepping up campaigning and raising funds to help the targeted victims.

“This is a callous, cynical and cruel decision. It deserves scorn and condemnation. It will be resisted,” said ACTU president Ged Kearney said about the latest government move.

Legal groups are also joining in, hitting back at Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s comments that lawyers representing asylum seekers in court are “un-Australian”.

On Alan Jone’s 2GB radio program, Dutton has also claimed: “These lawyers have been playing the game with these people who are willing participants and we’re a generous nation, but we’re not going to be taken for a ride”.

He further accused law firms that represent refugees of “playing the game with these people”, and of pursuing “social justice agendas” of “political correctness”.

Law Council of Australia president Fiona McLeod called Dutton’s remarks an “extraordinary break” with the tradition of “politicians … showing respect for the independence of our legal system”.

In a joint statement, New South Wales Bar Association president Arthur Moses and Law Society of NSW president Pauline Wright warned that if the right to legal representation was politicised, “unpopular people or persons associated with unpopular causes would be left without representation in courts”.

“This is a callous, cynical and cruel decision. It deserves scorn and condemnation. It will be resisted,” said ACTU president Ged Kearney said about the latest government move.

 

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