The #LetThemStay movement responded powerfully to the Turnbull government’s announcement in late August of a new ‘final departure Bridging E Visa’ that would affect 410 people, a move designed to force people back to the danger of detention centres in Nauru and Manus Island. In the first stage of those announcements, 65 refugees and people seeking asylum were told by our government that they will lose all income immediately and be forced out of their accommodation in three weeks.
Incredibly, the response from our caring community, together with the swift action of the sector has ensured the people immediately affected were offered support.
Angered by the increasing vilification of people seeking asylum, nearly 1000 advocates were moved to act and phoned their MPs to express their concern, and demand the removal of these new measures that would force people back to potential harm.
The ASRC’s online community further demonstrated why #LetThemStay was as powerful now, as it was last year when babies born in Australia to parents seeking asylum were threatened to be deported back to Nauru detention camp.
Together, our online and grassroots community took more than 100,000 actions to show that our government’s policy is not acceptable or fair; nearly 1000 phoned their MPs and thousands of people donated to support the ASRC’s in ensuring those affected have access to safe housing, food, groceries and essential household items.
Some positive results from this movement having put pressure on the Turnbull government as well as the Opposition is:
- The leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten MP and shadow Human Services Minister condemned the new visa and its measures as a ‘new low’ of cruelty.
- Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews publicly committed funding to support those being taken off income and housing support.
- No new letters have been sent as of yet summoning the other 350 people to be put on a Final Departure Bridging visa E.
- All people currently affected by the visa will be able to remain in their accommodation. In fact, yesterday, Tuesday 19 September would have been the day sixty five people on Final Departure Bridging Visa E would have become homeless had we not acted.
We still have a long way to go to #LetThemStay and #BringThemHere but thanks to your commitment to act and generous support, the movement is affecting change.
Together, let’s keep the #LetThemStay movement strong, active and focused on change.
Sign up to our ASRC #RightTrack movement for regular opportunities to get involved and take action.