- United States
Australian Senators will be presenting an immigration proposal in the parliament urging the Australian immigration to bring in hundreds of Afghan interpreters to the country on humanitarian visas as soon as possible. Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, of the Australian Greens, will be introducing a special bill in the Australian parliament proposing humanitarian visa for 600 Afghan interpreters and their families, who have been working alongside Australian troops in the Afghan war, to avoid any life threatening conditions that they might be facing due to their services in the country. The Greens senator also said that she will be discussing the issue with the country’s shadow immigration minister Scott Morrison and the Australian immigration minister Chris Bowen, and is expecting a positive response from both of them. Meanwhile, a special ministerial advisory committee, comprising of 12 members of the country’s Spanish-speaking community, has been created by Australian authorities in order to discuss and present problems related to immigration and multiculturalism of the community to the government regularly. The initiative adds the Spanish community to a list of many other ethnicities in Australia which already have such advisory committees for this purpose.
The Greens senator will be presenting her bill in the Australian parliament to gain official approval for the initiative for her visa program for the Afghans. Sen. Hanson-Young said that, although the initiative will allow a small portion of Afghans who have assisted Australian troops in Afghanistan, it will be a wise use of the country’s resources. Hanson-Young said that 600 Afghans and their families, who have been facing life threatening situations due to the services provided by them to the Australian troops, will be allowed to come to Australia on humanitarian visas if her bill is approved.
“It makes sense,” the Greens senator said, “… if they, because of their work, are now at risk and their families are at risk, that we help them. This would be a mechanism to allow people a safer pathway to be able to rebuild their lives and provide safety for their family.”
The senator said that she will also be taking her proposal to shadow immigration minister Scott Morrison, who himself has been urging the Australian government to give priority treatment to Afghan interpreters in the country’s new offshore refugee and humanitarian programs. She said that she also intends to discuss the issue with the country’s immigration minister and expects that he will share her party’s sentiments for the Afghans.
“Despite all the other fighting over immigration policy,” Sen. Hanson-Young said, “… I would hope this is one area where all three parties would agree it is a good idea.”
Meanwhile, the Australian authorities have recently created a special ministerial advisory committee comprising of 12 members of Australia’s Spanish speaking community. The purpose of the committee, as per the officials, is to air problems related to immigration and multiculturalism of the Spanish speaking minority of the country. As per the rules of the committee, its members will have meetings with immigration minister Chris Bowen, and multiculturalism minister Kate Lundy, twice a year in order to discuss such issues coming, particularly, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. The country already has similar committees for Chinese, Italian and several other ethnicities in the country, according to immigration officials.
Tags: Australian Advisory Committee for Spanish-speaking minority, Australian Greens, Australian immigration, Australia’s offshore refugee and humanitarian programs, Humanitarian visas for Afghan interpreters