A GROUP of East Timorese asylum seekers in Australia is to have their threatened deportation reviewed.
Catholic groups have welcomed the decision by Immigration Minister Senator Amanda Vanstone to reconsider the cases of the 50 asylum seekers, some of whom had been in Australia for up to 10 years.
Groups such as the Mary MacKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies in Sydney and the Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education have been lobbying the Federal Government since the East Timorese were given notice last month of their intended deportation.
Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee for Refugees and Migrants, Bishop Joseph Grech of Sandhurst, said the minister’s last minute decision to reconsider the cases came as a great relief in the face of their impending deportation.
Assistant director of the Mary MacKillop Institute of East Timorese Studies, Josephite Sister Susan Connelly, said while the news was good it was critical Catholics continue lobbying Federal MPs.
Senator Vanstone announced on May 19 that each case would be assessed on its individual merits taking into account any countervailing considerations.
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