DIAC refutes hoax email on asylum seeker policy
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) is urging the media and the public to ignore hoax emails circulating on the internet about government benefits provided to asylum seekers and refugees permanently settling in Australia.
Some of the hoax emails also falsely claim Australia accepts terrorists and other criminals under its international obligations.
“The text in these emails has many gross inaccuracies,” a DIAC spokesman said.
“Irregular maritime arrivals are subject to thorough security and identity checks and must satisfy the character test before being a decision is made about protection.
“Only those who engage Australia’s international obligations receive refugee status; indeed, the government has already returned people who were not refugees.
“Figures quoted in these emails also bear no resemblance to income-support payments to asylum seekers and refugees settling in Australia.
“Asylum seekers in Australia who have not yet had their protection claims decided have no access to Centrelink benefits.
“In Australia, refugees granted permanent visas have access to benefits on the same basis and at the same rates as other Australian permanent residents.”
The spokesman said refugees received no cash payments under Australia’s Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy. He said any claims that refugees are given free houses were ridiculous.
“DIAC helps eligible refugees with English-language lessons and settling-in assistance including basic goods to start a household, as well as subsidies for rent and utilities for their first four weeks in the country,” the spokesman said.
“We would strongly encourage anyone who receives an email claiming asylum seekers or refugees are treated more favourably than Australian permanent residents to hit the delete button and ignore these ridiculous claims.”
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