Communities urge Labor to scrap shameful Bill


Communities are urging the Albanese Government to listen to the hundreds of submissions against its “shameful and hurried” Entry Ban and Deportation Bill and scrap  it before it proceeds through the Senate this week and puts lives, families and communities at risk of unnecessary harm.

The Bill, which will be tabled in the Senate this Wednesday, was rushed through by Labor in March to pre-empt political fallout from the ASF17 High Court legal challenge, before the legislation was stalled at the Senate to make way for an inquiry.

During the two-week window allowed for public submissions in April, hundreds of individuals, refugee-led organisations, legal experts, advocates and academics submitted testimonies against the Bill, many which ASRC can confirm have still not been published by the Senate Committee for the public to review.

Despite overwhelming evidence the Legislation will unfairly punish and criminalise people seeking asylum, cause permanent family separation and harm to children, and force people to return to persecution and even death, the Labor majority Senate Committee still published a report last week supporting the Bill’s passage through Parliament.

ASRC joined community groups and advocates calling out the Albanese Government for its continued public support of the Bill after the ASF17 court case was dismissed last Friday, describing it as “inhumane and nonsensical” for the legislation to proceed any further. 

Quotes attributable to:

Adel Salman, President, Islamic Council of Victoria
“This is a shameful and hurried attempt to impose harsh penalties on vulnerable individuals who have already faced significant challenges, without adequate consideration for their safety, wellbeing or personal circumstances. Transferring the onus of removal onto a removal pathway non-citizen is also inhumane and degrading.”

Beny Bol, President of Queensland African Communities Council
“The nature of this Bill and its unknown potential consequences on innocent families and community members are causing enormous high level of anxiety and confusion across the migrant communities – particularly those communities likely to be affected if passed.”

“Some of these communities and the members that are potentially being targeted in this Bill such as South Sudan and Sudan, you can see now in Australia their positive stories of contribution –  even in the sporting community –  there are young people from these communities that are making Australia proud today because they received appropriate support. 

“These are children who were born in the refugee camps and came here. When they have the right support of their families and community around them, they are representing Australia proudly internationally and nationally, and they do not know any other country other than Australia, and those refugee camps. There are many people from those communities who were born in refugee camps, grew up there and even married there – generations of the world’s forgotten refugees, but they may be forced to return to countries that even their own refugee parents have never visited.

Haatsari Marunda, Representative of Zimbabwean Communities in Australia
“The major impact of the bill on the community is family separation and disconnection. Zimbabwean culture espouses the virtues of Hunhu/Ubuntu, a philosophy which recognises the role that community plays in shaping an individual’s humanity. As such, family and kin cannot be divorced from the individual without significantly affecting them.

“The prospect that the wider family, for example, grandparents, might not be able to visit and share in the raising of young children, or to renourish our social and cultural connections, will lead to emotional and mental distress for many Zimbabwean Australians.

“The Zimbabwean-Australian connection has enriched Australian society in countless ways, from vital contributions in healthcare, mining, and entrepreneurship to the cultural diversity that makes Australia truly unique. We believe any changes to immigration policies must consider not only economic factors but also human rights and impacts on the well-being of families and communities. By recognising and valuing the contributions of the Zimbabwean diaspora, Australia can continue to thrive as a welcoming and inclusive nation.”

Kurdish Society of Queensland
“As members of the Kurdish community, we are deeply concerned about the implications of this bill for migrants and refugees, particularly those fleeing persecution and conflict in their home countries.The provisions outlined in the Bill would have severe consequences for vulnerable individuals seeking safety and protection in Australia. 

“Firstly, criminalising non-compliance with removal directives, as proposed in the Bill, is unjust and disproportionate, especially considering that many individuals facing removal may have legitimate claims for protection under international law. Punishing refugees and migrants with imprisonment for simply expressing their fears or inability to cooperate with removal orders is contrary to Australia’s obligations under the Refugee Convention.”

Renee Dixson, co-founder and Chair of the Forcibly Displaced People Network:
“The negative impacts of the proposed bill are far-reaching, with LGBTIQ+ refugees facing particularly dire consequences. For those seeking asylum, returning to their countries of origin could mean risking death or imprisonment. True protection means offering safety and refuge to those fleeing persecution, not subjecting them to further harm or punishment. We are deeply concerned about the potential impacts of this bill and urge the government to abandon it.”


Note to Editors
Some comments above first appeared in published submissions against Labor’s Migration Amendment Bill and have been republished with permission for media use.



Share Button
Leave a reply