Thursday, March 24, 2005

A NEW VISA CATEGORY FOR REFUGEES

The pragmatic shift in Australia’s refugee policy has led to the establishment of a new visa category for the long-term stateless refugees. The new commonwealth government initiative allows asylum-seekers who have given up the fight to stay in Australia to live freely in the community until they can be deported.

Nevertheless, there is a sting in the detail of policy, so to speak. Asylum-seekers will be expected to sign contracts, report monthly to immigration officials, and cease all legal action against the federal government.

But the new visa category for the poor and the stateless elements has been met with utmost skepticism by the refugee activists who argue, quite convincingly, that the refugees are being forced to sign away their last hope of remaining in Australia.
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