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Catholic lobby wary about ALP's Christmas gesture for asylum seekers

Independent Catholic lobbyist PolMin has responded cautiously to the Australian Labor Party's new policy designed to release children asylum seekers from detention before Christmas.

The Australian Political Ministry Network argues that a close analysis of the ALP's policy reveals that it reflects the Government's current policy, which allows children deemed to be health or security risks to be released into the community.

"The real issue is that there is no willingness among policy decision makers to end mandatory detention although the Migration Act 1958 permits other forms of processing asylum seekers," the PolMin statement concluded.

In pointing out Catholic social teaching's unambiguous requirement for special attention for children of asylum seekers, PolMin quotes Pope Paul VI's 1967 encyclical Populorum Progressio.

"The ALP's new policy is designed to catch a headline but not to change existing policy and for this reason we believe it must be approached with caution", said PolMin spokesperson James McGillicuddy.

PolMin cautious about ALP's 'release of detained children asylum seekers' (PolMin 1/12/03)

PM rejects Christmas release for children (The Age 2/12/03)

3 Dec 2003