Escaping persecution

Meg Pickup, Ballina

Just how difficult does the Department of Home Affairs make it for people to apply for asylum in this country? These people have a waiting period of more than four years before being allowed to lodge an application for protection.

Having satisfied the long wait period applicants face more stumbling blocks designed to make them fail. They have to complete an application form with 116 questions in a language not their own. There is no interview or hearing. Impossible deadlines are imposed and the goal-posts shift constantly. Anonymous people sitting in offices somewhere in Australia then make judgments on applications.

What we put these people through is shameful. We need to stand up and tell the Australian government that enough is enough.

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Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

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