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Australia must go beyond our annual humanitarian intake to support Afghanistan

The Greens have responded to reports the Australian Government will pause deportations to Afghanistan, saying it is not nearly enough given our culpability for the current crisis.

The Greens are calling on the federal government to provide 20,000 permanent protection visas, in addition to Australia’s annual humanitarian intake, for Afghan people with a well-founded fear of being persecuted by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

These visas are crucial to protect women, human rights advocates, LGBTIQ+ people, alumni of Australian Universities, journalists, Afghan government workers and people from ethnic and religious minorities previously persecuted by the Taliban.

Afghan citizens on temporary visas in Australia must also be offered protection in Australia with permanent visas.

The Government should immediately offer temporary bridging visas to any Afghan people who worked to support Australian Defence Forces or consular offices so they can come to safety in Australia while their claims for asylum are assessed.

The Greens also call on the government to provide immediate aid to support Afghan citizens in Afghanistan and evacuation assistance where possible.

Quotes attributable to Greens spokesperson for Immigration and Citizenship Nick McKim:

“Given Australia’s many decades of interference in Afghanistan, we have a moral imperative to provide aid and support.”

“Pausing deportations to Afghanistan is not nearly enough, and it shows the depths of this government’s lack of compassion.”

“Accepting 20,000 humanitarian entrants and offering permanent protection for Afghan citizens already in Australia is the very least that we can do.”

“It must happen as a matter of urgency.”

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