‘Australia is not an option’: Government letter to asylum seekers and refugees
Australia has signed agreements with the United States and New Zealand to resettle refugees who arrived by boat. The agreement with the United States, signed in 2016, provides for the resettlement of 1,250 refugees by the end of this year.
PayAm and his family (not pictured) were detained in Nauru under Australia’s offshore treatment regime. Source: AAP / Rick Rycroft
In March this year, Australia accepted an offer from New Zealand to accept 150 refugees a year for the next three years.
“I understand that you have recently withdrawn from resettlement in the United States. The United States offers you a real opportunity for permanent resettlement. People who have already settled in the United States report positive experiences.”
The letter obtained by SBS. Credit: Provided
Other letters are believed to contain a similar message regarding resettlement offers from New Zealand.
“There is also great uncertainty in the New Zealand option. We are asking the government to consider these people on a case-by-case basis.”
“I have no country”
“What country? I don’t have a country,” he said.
Ms Dale said Australia’s immigration policy over the past decade had been arbitrary.
*Name changed to protect identity.