In a 7 November 2016 statement Bishop Vincent Long calls on Australians to reject cruel refugee measures proposed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Immigration, Peter Dutton. They intend to introduce legislation banning refugees and asylum seekers who have arrived in Australia by boat from 19 July 2013 onwards from ever being able to apply for a visa to Australia. The proposed legislation would apply even to those found to be bona fide refugees. He called the move “deeply disappointing.” Bishop Vincent Long is the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Delegate for Refugees.
Bishop Long reminds the Australian community that:
“Seeking asylum even by boat is not illegal. It is a basic human right. Yet not content with demeaning them, the Australian government now want to introduce laws that will ban them from ever coming here.”
A former boat person himself, Bishop Long appealed “to all political leaders to resist this latest mean-spirited move against asylum seekers and to reclaim the reputation of a decent, humane and generous country; it is the kind of country that refugees like myself are indebted to and proud to call home.”
Full Statement on Proposed Refugee Measures
Read the full text of Bishop Long’s statement here.