The Migration Institute of Australia welcomes today’s announcement by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Tony Abbott, MP that Australia will accept a further 12,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq.
This figure is an addition to the annual humanitarian visa programme, which grants 13,750 people refugee status in Australia.
“The Prime Minister has shown leadership and compassion to people who are some of the world’s most vulnerable. Their lives have been torn apart by war and today Australia has acknowledged their desperation and said it will help them.” said Migration Institute of Australia National President Angela Chan FMIA.
People coming to Australia as part of the extra 12,000 places will be allowed to resettle in the country permanently, which the Migration Institute of Australia fully supports.
However Ms Chan noted that it was still unclear over what period of time these 12,000 places would be offered.
“The timeframe on exactly when these 12,000 places will be filled is still unknown. We call on the government to place 12,000 extra refugees from Syria and Iraq urgently and as part of the 2015-16 immigration programme,” said Ms Chan.
The Migration Institute of Australia also welcomes the announcement of an extra $44 million earmarked for humanitarian support services. The extra funding will go to Iraq and Syria’s neighbours to provide support to the estimated 240,000 displaced Syrian and Iraqi’s due to war in their homelands.
Last week the Migration Institute of Australia called on the government to take more Syrian refugees in addition to the current visa programme and to provide more funding to the UNHCR, which the government has today confirmed it will do.
The Migration Institute of Australia again urges the Government to release those Syrian and Iraqis who are currently in detention both onshore and offshore, subject to them meeting mandatory health and character requirements.
A significant number of members of the Migration Institute of Australia work pro-bono, to help asylum seekers process their humanitarian visa applications with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.