The Daily Telegraph has blown an opportunity to tell its readers the reality of what happens when asylum seekers are released into the community, the Australian Greens said today.
"Last year the paper showed the dangers asylum seekers faced under the Malaysian solution, but this year it has given a false picture of community release programs here on shore," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.
"That's a real disappointment because there are so many myths about asylum seekers which continue to be perpetuated.
"Asylum seekers living in the community cannot work while their claims for protection are assessed. How does the Daily Telegraph suggest they eat?
"Rather than stirring up envy and resentment toward already fragile people, the paper could have more truthfully told its audience that keeping children and their families in detention merely contributes to yet more preventable mental health damage.
"Community release programmes cost about $10,400 per person per year, compared to $137,000 if they are kept in detention. That cost saving is something the Australian tax payers should be made aware of. Housing asylum seekers in the community is 90% cheaper and 100% fairer."