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Labor must correct its lurch to the right on refugees

After sustained pressure from the Greens and advocacy groups, Minster Bowen has hinted he may not follow through with plans to stop refugees from working in Australia but a lack of actual policy means people are still being left in the dark.

 “After flip-flopping back and forth on whether refugees will be allowed to work in Australia, the Government needs to come clean on what its policy actually looks like,” the Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

 “Tomorrow I’ll be moving a motion in the Senate calling on the Government to put forward regulation that would ensure refugees will be able to work in the Australian community legally.

 “The right to work is fundamental and it is actually illegal for us to withhold it from people who have been found to be refugees.

“With more Sri Lankan asylum seekers forcibly returned to their dangerous home country today, I again express my concern that we are going down a dangerous road where we aren’t even assessing people’s claims before sending them back.

 “Today we have also seen debate in the House of Representative on the extreme measure to excise the entire continent of Australia from its own migration zone, showing just how low the level of debate on this topic has sunk.

“The ridiculousness of that piece of legislation can speak for itself, but it is misleading to suggest that it will stop people fleeing from war and persecution in the only ways available to them.

“The old parties are locked in a seemingly endless race to the bottom on immigration policy and it is the vulnerable people who are being used as pawns in their political games that have to suffer.”

Media Contact: Noah Schultz-Byard 0427 604 760

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