Catholics reject Sudanese refugee reduction

Church groups have rejected Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews justifications to reduce the number of Sudanese refugees entering Australia.

Mr Andrews angered Catholic organisations earlier this month after he claimed the the recent refugee arrivals from Africa were experiencing difficulty in settling into Australia, the Catholic Leader reported.

Brisbane archdiocese's Centre for Multicultural Pastoral Care director Clyde Cosentino said about 6000 Sudanese refugees had arrived in Brisbane and Toowoomba since 2000, and he heard nothing but praise about the way they had settled into the local communities.

"Like all refugee communities, the Sudanese have faced challenges in adjusting to a new culture," Mr Cosentino said.

"However, there is absolutely no credibility to comments about such groups engaging in gang warfare, crime and so on."

Toowoomba Catholic Social Justice Commission executive officer Dr Mark Copland said the Sudanese community gatherings have celebrated in song the wonderful works of John Howard and the Department for Immigration many years.

"Now this community is puzzled, saddened and frightened by Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews' recent allegations of a criminal element in the Sudanese community across Australia", he said.

Sudanese comment outrage (Catholic Leader, 19/10/07)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Brisbane
International Crisis Group - Sudan
The UN Refugee Agency -Sudan

Sudanese refugee cuts "abominable": Sydney bishop (CathNews, 08/02/07)
New life for Sydney's Sudanese refugees (CathNews, 25/08/06)
Bishops Bishop says Minister's actions fuelled racism (CathNews, 09/10/07)
Australian Bishops concern over refugee cut (CathNews, 12/10/07)

19 Oct 2007