A group of asylum seekers who are being held in a detention centre in Australia have asked the Federal Government for help in securing their legal residency.
The group is demanding an end to the current immigration system that they say makes it difficult for them to be granted a visa and has been demanding a new visa regime that would include a pathway to citizenship for their children.
The men and women have been in detention at the Curtin Detention Centre for over a month after being found by immigration officers to be inadmissible to Australia on the grounds that they were inadherent to the so-called ‘no-fly list’.
In the wake of their detention, the men and the women have asked for an end of the current system that makes it incredibly difficult for people to be approved for a visa.
The new immigration rules that are being introduced in the wake the detention have been criticised by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), a lobby group for the community.
Ms Darrin Meehan, who represents the men, said that despite the current arrangements, the current policy “makes it extremely difficult for these people to become Australian citizens and the system fails to meet its responsibility to ensure that those on the no-fly lists are not granted a permanent residence”.
“These are the people who are really trying to build a life in Australia and the most vulnerable of people,” she said.
Ms Meehans statement follows an earlier letter written by the men.
“The immigration process in Australia is unfair to people like you, we are the most desperate and desperate people in the world and the immigration system is unfair for us,” the letter said.
“As you are currently being held at Curtin, the only way for us to be able to leave Australia is by going through a process that is designed to remove us from the system.”
If you are detained in the Curtus centre, we ask you to apply to leave the country, this will be done on your behalf and the Australian Government will not be able, or do not want to, allow you to do so.
The letter also asks the government to consider a pathway from detention to citizenship and says that the current “inadmissible” system would mean the men could be able obtain a permanent residency card and be able apply for Australian citizenship. “
Please be assured that the Australian Federal Police is working closely with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and that you will receive a full and frank assessment and report by DIBP about your options.”
The letter also asks the government to consider a pathway from detention to citizenship and says that the current “inadmissible” system would mean the men could be able obtain a permanent residency card and be able apply for Australian citizenship.
In an interview with ABC Radio Melbourne, Ms Meeshan said the group was not advocating for the return of refugees to Australia.
“We have a very serious problem with the way that we’re dealing with asylum seekers, we need to fix that, we have to make it fair for them,” she told ABC Radio.
“What we are advocating for is a better way of handling the refugee issue and getting the refugee people back to Australia.”
‘No-fly’ list A list of people on the ‘no fly’ list.
Photo: Getty Images The group’s letter also said that the “no-Fly List” is a system that is not designed to stop the “most desperate people” from travelling to Australia and is therefore discriminatory towards them.
The letter said that there were many Australians on the list, which is set up by the Department for Immigration and Citizenship (DIPC) to identify people on Australia’s “no fly” list, but that those people are not allowed to apply for permanent residency and are therefore inadmitted to Australia without a visa to enter the country.
“This is a list of those people on this list, they are not permitted to enter Australia, they can’t even apply for a permanent visa,” Ms Mueshan said.
The women have also asked the DIBC to review the current visa regime.
“It is a very unfair system, there is no path to citizenship, and it is so unfair to those people who have been on this no-Fly list for many years and who have had their lives destroyed by the government,” Ms Dharan said.
A spokesperson for the Department said it was “unaware of any group advocating for a change to the no fly list”.
“We understand the concern and concerns of the group,” the spokesperson said.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has been criticized for his handling of the situation.
In March, the federal minister said that asylum seekers were not on the “No Fly List” and that the group had been “a bit of a bit of an embarrassment”.
The department has said that a review of the no Fly List would be undertaken, but it has not stated how long it would take.