Migration Act Excision Zone

October 31, 2012

UnitingJustice Australia is dismayed at reports that the Federal Labor Caucus is moving to include the Australian mainland in the Migration Act excision zone.

Rev Elenie Poulos, the National Director of UnitingJustice, expressed extreme disappointment in the enactment of this recommendation of the Houston Panel Report.

“This is a shameful abdication of our moral responsibility as a nation towards vulnerable and oppressed asylum seekers,” said Rev Poulos.

“Today’s announcement that the Federal Labor Caucus will pursue this policy further diminishes the legitimate rights of refugees and asylum seekers. It contributes nothing to the protection of asylum seekers and will only serve to undermine the Refugee Convention.

“Labor MPs should be ashamed of themselves.”

Rev Poulos said Labor had neglected one of the country’s greatest moral challenges, and was now leading a ‘race to the bottom’ on asylum seeker policies.

“Labor was given a mandate in 2007 to frame a more compassionate policy on asylum seekers.”

“This latest initiative is in direct contradiction to Labor’s promises before the party came to power.”

“This Government’s lack of leadership and humanity towards asylum seekers is nothing short of appalling.”