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Migrant and Refugee Office urges Senate to let East Timorese stay

The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office yesterday urged Senators to support a move which would allow about 1600 East Timorese asylum seekers to stay permanently in Australia.

ACMRO acting director Felicity Donnelly said the Catholic Church had been pleading with the government to let the East Timorese people stay, some of whom had lived their whole lives in Australia.

"We welcome the Opposition's move to amend the Migration Legislation Amendment (No. 1) Bill and its acknowledgement that these people are a unique case deserving of the utmost compassion," she said.

"Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll has written twice to Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock, urging him to intervene and create a special class of visa which would allow these people to stay in the country which has become their home.

"We call on all parties in the Senate to support this amendment and to ensure that these people, who have made their lives in Australia over the last decade, are not forced to return to East Timor, with all of its ongoing instability."

The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office

Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office
Archbishop calls on Ruddock to let the East Timorese stay (20/2/03)
Plea to allow E Timor asylum seekers in NT to stay (ABC)
Let the East Timorese Stay!
Vinnies works with NT Govt to help Timorese appeals (27/11/02)
Church agencies repeat call to let Timorese stay (18/11/02)
Ultimatum to East Timorese: why should you stay? (The Sun-Herald)
Timorese asylum claims blocked by secret freeze (Sydney Morning Herald)
Church lobbies Ruddock to keep East Timorese in Australia (30/10/02)
Grant Residency to East Timorese in Australia (ACLRI, 29/10/02)
Australian Catholic Migration and Refugee Office Council
No Longer in Exile?: Shifting experiences of Home, Homeland & Identity for the East Timorese refugee diaspora in Australia following East Timor's independence (Amanda Wise, Institute for Cultural Research, University of Western Sydney)
Timorese asylum claims blocked by secret freeze (SMH 18/11/02)

7 Mar 2003