Politics with Michelle Grattan: Anthony Albanese says Afghans in Australia should be given permanent residency

Originally published on theconversation.com

Graphic pictures of mayhem confront the world as desperate Afghans attempt to flee their country, after the Taliban’s seizure of Kabul.

Australia’s moral responsibly to evacuate people who assisted the Australian Defence Force, and may now face Taliban retribution, has become an important part of our exit from this lost war.

The government is mounting a rescue mission for some of these people, as well as for Australians still in the country. But speaking on the podcast, Anthony Albanese describes the government’s effort as “the latest example of too little, too late”.

Meanwhile, in Australia at present there are more than 4,200 Afghan refugees on temporary visas. Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Tuesday that “at this stage” no visa holder will be asked to return to Afghanistan. Scott Morrison said the government “had no plans” to return any of these people.

Albanese says the government should give them permanent residency.

“The idea that people, for example many of whom are Hazaras, are on temporary protection visas – the idea that the circumstances are going to change, that these are temporary circumstances – is just not real” Albanese says.

“It doesn’t acknowledge the circumstances which these people confront. And we want them to fully participate in Australian society, and they should have the capacity to become full Australian citizens.”

Additional audio

A List of Ways to Die, Lee Rosevere, from Free Music Archive.

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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