The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network released the statement below on October 9.
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The Darwin Asylum Seeker Support and Advocacy Network (DASSAN) has called on NT members of the federal government, member for Lingiari Warren Snowdon and Senator Trish Crossin, to vote against legislation to be introduced this week that would allow the offshore processing of asylum seekers.
Snowdon was reported as strongly supporting the proposed amendments in caucus.
The legislation will sidestep the recent High court ruling on the “Malaysia Solution” and allow the minister for immigration to send asylum seekers, including pregnant women and children, to any country, despite the conditions that asylum seekers may face in those countries.
DASSAN spokesperson Fernanda Dahlstrom said: “The proposed amendments represent a complete abdication of our human rights obligations and fly in the face of the Labor Party’s own platform.
“They would provide legislative sanction for the federal government to be involved in the trafficking of vulnerable people. If passed this legislation will end Australia’s reputation as a country with respect for due process and human rights. Mr Snowdon is wrong to support this legislation.”
Dahlstrom added: “The large amount of community-based action in Darwin in recent weeks in support of refugees has made it clear that many of Mr Snowdon’s constituents oppose offshore processing and support the processing of refugees in the Australian community.
“Senator Crossin has spoken out against the offshore processing of asylum seekers and DASSAN calls on her and Mr Snowdon to now vote against this legislation.”