Edmund Rice Centre accuses Govt of 'people smuggler tactics'
There are fresh allegations from Sydney's Edmund Rice Centre that the Immigration Department has issued false travel documents in an effort to get rid of long-term detainees.
Phil Glendenning, director of the Edmund Rice Centre, a social justice advocacy agency run by the Christian Brothers, says sources within the Department have admitted that some officers are issuing false identities to deport asylum seekers.
ABC Radio reports that Mr Glendenning said that only last week an asylum seeker was unsuccessfully deported to Dubai using forged documents.
The ALP claimed on Tuesday that the Department had issued two ethnically Albanian asylum seekers from Serbia false papers, in order to deport them to Serbia.
Mr Glendenning says he believes the Department is using the same tactics as people smugglers.
"To provide false information to enable someone to pass quickly through the border of another country, should not be a tactic that should be used by a sovereign government of a country like Australia," he said.
Mr Glendenning says he is convinced the practice is widespread within the Immigration Department.
"The information provided to us didn't just happen by accident," he said.
"Clearly there are people within the Immigration Department who've been very, very concerned and have identified where these people are being sent and the methods used to move them and it's very clear the practices and processes used at times by the Department of Immigration puts people greatly at risk."
The Minister for Immigration Senator Vanstone on Tuesday night issued a statement saying the Serbian couple used a false name, and that is why the new documents were ordered.
But Labor's immigration spokesman Tony Burke says Senator Vanstone herself sent a letter to a Mrs Kola just weeks ago.
"The Department of Immigration know exactly who this couple are," he said.
Fresh claim of Immigration 'people smuggling' tactics (ABC News 14/9/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Edmund Rice Centre | Deported to Danger: What happens to Australia's rejected asylum seekers?
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs - Current Issues
Catholic advocate urges better immigration policy scrutiny (CathNews 10/5/05)
Detention stuff-ups no surprise to Edmund Rice researchers (CathNEws 3/5/05)
Church call for scrutiny of plight of all detainees (CathNews 11/2/05)
Refugee advocate tells Jesuit seminar that democracy requires honesty (CathNews 24/2/05)
Fears for Bakhtiyaris' safety after deportation (CathNews 24/12/04)
Edmund Rice Centre claims at least 35 refugees sent back to danger (CathNews 29/9/04)
Immigration accused of issuing fake documents to asylum seekers (ABC Radio The World Today 14/9/05)
15 Sep 2005