If you don't change you will lose

Dear Prime Minister,

Papua New Guinea ICSA (Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority) have issued a document titled 'Positive Deportation Risk Assessment' to the asylum seekers who have not been given refugee status (for a variety of reasons that are flawed). It clearly lays out the Catch-22 that the asylum seekers on PNG face:

  • we say that you are not a refugee;
  • you must return to your country;
  • we find that you are at real risk of 'torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, arbitrary deprivation of life or the imposition of the death penalty';
  • we say that you cannot stay in PNG;
  • we want you to go home voluntarily (but see above);
  • we say that you cannot have your refugee status reassessed.
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At least PNG does not pretend that it is safe for the men to return, unlike Australia.

There is one sentence in this statement that is wrong:

'You will never be permitted to go to Australia - neither the Government of PNG nor Australia will change their policies about this.'

Yet this policy will be changed in Australia. The majority of Australians want the refugees on Manus and Nauru to be brought to Australia. Your government goes to the polls in the next 15 months or so. This will be a key issue. It will bring your Government down unless you change this policy. Thousands of citizens will see to it.

Bring all refugees and asylum seekers in offshore detention to Australia now.