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Treat asylum seekers as humans

RE: “Following St Ignatius’ example” (People, CL 19/5/13), thank you for drawing attention to the exemplary volunteer Steve Jorgensen.

We need hundreds more like him to befriend and help asylum seekers on bridging visas who are doing it so tough.

Without the right to work and without extended family or even ethnic community support, there are unfurnished households of men without bedding, winter clothes, shoes and cooking utensils.

How to fill the day and not spiral into total despair is a challenge, and never more have we needed people to be good neighbours who look out for those in need and befriend them.

We have no control over how long asylum seekers will wait for the decision on their protection claims.

It may be years.

Give a thought to their wives and children having to manage without them, the provider and protector.

This mistreatment of asylum seekers is fundamentally anti-family, and so unnecessary.

And to blame them for the Budget deficit is so wrong.
Our politicians make the decisions to detain asylum seekers in remote places, when they are no risk to national security.

The St Vincent de Paul Society conferences are already involved in practical support, but befriending and socialising with asylum seekers is so very necessary.

At the Romero Centre volunteers are needed to help with learning and practising English.

Affordable accommodation near public transport is desperately needed.

By our Christian actions we will shame politicians into granting work rights and treating asylum seekers like worthy human beings.

FREDERIKA STEEN
Chapel Hill, Qld

 

Written by: Staff writers
Catholic Church Insurance

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