ECCV supports FECCA’s concern about proposed radical changes to humanitarian resettlement program in leaked document

The Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) says it strongly supports the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia’s (FECCA) concern about proposals to radically change the humanitarian resettlement program.


ECCV Chairperson, Eddie Micallef, made these comments after recent media reports indicated that leaked cabinet documents had indicated there were proposals to make significant changes to the humanitarian resettlement program and to increase the overall monitoring of migrants.


“We are deeply concerned about the messages coming out of these leaked cabinet documents; about how they are likely to impact on individuals and families from culturally and linguistically diverse communities in Victoria; and question the validity of increased monitoring of migrants as part of these measures,” Mr Micallef said.


“It is not acceptable - as some of the proposals are suggesting - to want to make changes to the humanitarian program based on the ethnic background or religious beliefs of individuals.


“To identify members of particular ethnic groups as being undesirable for integration, and to want to increase surveillance on individuals from specific migrant groups goes against the basic principles we value highly of promoting social cohesion and inclusivity within our society.


“FECCA has highlighted how the document recommends bringing forward proposals to reform the visa framework removing ‘direct access to permanent residency to better align visa and citizenship decision- making with national security and community protection outcomes’.


“ECCV is in agreement with FECCA about how this is an area for real concern. Threatening a person’s citizenship status and their ability to obtain permanent residency goes against some of the core values people coming to this country are seeking out, and this is especially the case for refugees.


“Assessing the suitability of migrants according to some type of ‘integration framework’ is not as important as developing a country’s ability to integrate and support new arrivals. The ability to obtain permanent residency can also impact on the integration prospects of new arrivals.


“Australia must have a humanitarian resettlement program that is in no way discriminatory, and that reflects the rapid changes that are occurring throughout the world that has seen an exponential increase in the need for resettlement of refugees.


“The ECCV applauds and supports FECCA for its strong position on this issue, as it has the potential to impact on many people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities within Victoria and throughout Australia.”

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