Last year, communities across the country stood with people seeking asylum to demand our leaders #LetThemStay, and the Government had no choice but to back down on its threats to deport people seeking protection in Australia back to harm on Nauru and Manus Island. Since then, people have been starting their new lives in our community. The Government has just begun its second attempt to send people now firmly part of our community back to harm on Nauru and Manus Island.
The Government is:
- putting people on 'final departure' visas, telling them to go back to Nauru, Manus Island or the countries they're seeking protection from;
- cutting off financial support, forcing people to scramble for a job after they'd been denied the right to work for years;
- forcing people out of their homes with only three weeks’ notice.
Any one of us would be shaken by living with the intimidation of returning to a place that denies safety, while having to suddenly find both a job and home with no financial support. The Government must #LetThemStay.
This is a fundamentally unfair and unacceptable move from our Government, and we must speak out to hold our leaders to account. Contact your local MP or state Senators and call for them to #LetThemStay!
Step 1: Find your MP and Senators
You can find the name and contact details of your local representative via the Australian Parliament House website. Simply enter your postcode to find the details for Members and Senators and their electorate offices.
Step 2: Prepare what you want to say
What we stand for:
- We must treat people seeking asylum with dignity and respect, not deny them basic support and intimidate them into returning to Nauru and Manus Island where they face danger and an uncertain future.
- We must #LetThemStay - people living in our community who now have lives here, have experienced unacceptable treatment in detention already, and should have their cases for asylum assessed here while they live in safety.
- Our Government must fairly and efficiently assess people's applications for asylum as soon as possible, and grant them permanent (not temporary) protection visas so they can finally rebuild their lives in peace.
Tips for calling an MP’s office:
- State your name and let the person know that the MP/Senator you’re calling is your representative, if that’s the case
- Ask to speak with your MP/Senator, and if they're not available leave a message
- Think carefully about your ask - see tips below!
- Ask for the MP or Senator to get back to you about the action they have taken to #LetThemStay
- Don’t rush and don’t worry about impatient staff – just stay relaxed, clear and polite.
- Ask the staffer what they think - this helps open the conversation
- Thank them for passing on the message
Skeleton script if you want more guidance
Hi, my name is ______________________ [full name], from ____________________ [suburb, state].
I want to speak to ________________ [MP’s full name].
If they are unavailable: In that case I would like to leave a message for __________________ [MP’s full name].
I am calling today about the Government's recent decision to coerce people living in our community back to Manus Island and Nauru. The Government has issued 'final departure' visas, stripped people of their welfare payments, and told people they'll lose their accommodation in only three weeks. Any one of us would find this an impossible situation to face, let alone if we had been denied the right to work ever since arriving here and faced the imminent danger and uncertainty of Manus Island or Nauru.
I am calling to ask ________________ [MP’s full name] to speak up and demand the Government let them stay. The Government must fairly and efficiently assess their cases for asylum while they live here in our community, with the right to work and adequate support. Once they've been granted asylum, we must ensure they have permanent protection so they can get on with their lives in peace.
I would like to hear from the MP about what their plan is to ensure people can get on with their lives in peace in our community.
[Request a response from the MP, leave your contact details]
Step 3: Make your calls - good luck!
Step 4: Debrief with others
Debrief about your experience by filling in the feedback form below or email us at email@example.com - We'd love to hear about your experience!
And if you don't hear from your MP/Senator within two weeks, follow up!