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Monday, 27 June 2016 09:32

CAPSA sends open letter to Australian political leaders

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capsa logoThe Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA), of which Catholic Religious Australia is a member, sent an open letter to political leaders Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton, Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten, Shadow Minister for Immigration Richard Marles, Leader of the Australian Greens Richard Di Natale, Spokesperson Immigration & Citizenship for the Greens Sarah Hanson Young.

The letter begins with a reminder on the Australian Church's priority concern for refugees, as expressed in the recent statement "A Vote For The Voiceless: a statement by the Catholic Bishops of Australia on the election". The CAPSA letter outlines the principles upheld by the alliance in their advocacy for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. The letter urges Australian political leaders to develop more humane responses to refugees and asylum seekers and informs them that CAPSA is urging voters to assess election candidates on the positions they take on refugees and asylum seekers.

"One of the most pressing issues in Australia from an ethical and moral perspective is the treatment of people seeking protection in Australia. We, as members of the Catholic community, in schools, parishes, hospitals and other organisations, are very concerned. Although interdiction has stopped more people coming by boat to Australian territory, those who have tried are still being punished and denied any hope of finding a new life in Australia. This is despite their doing only what is legal and reasonable given their circumstances."

"We are encouraging Catholics to consider what policies need to be in place to ensure a more humane outcome for both those on Nauru and Manus Island, and those waiting in the Australian community."

"We want our politicians to take responsibility for the harshness of the treatment of people seeking protection here, and to exercise mercy and compassion. We want change."

Read the full letter in the CAPSA website.

Join the CAPSA action, Standing in Solidarity – A National Day of Prayer & Action, on 4-10 September 2016.