Stop Detention Not Visits
6pm, 20th of May
MITA 120-150 Camp Road Broadmeadows
While we want all asylum seekers and refugees to be released from detention, we recognise that visits can be a lifeline for those cruelly subjected to mandatory detention. Visits help people in immigration detention to feel like human beings for a few hours a day. The “enhanced visits process” at MITA in Broadmeadows attempts to cut that lifeline. Under new regulations, visitors now have to phone and book a timeslot more than 24 hours in advance, nominate the people they will visit and be assigned a table number. This process means that visitors are now being turned away, and new arrivals to the centre get no visits.
The government claims that immigration detention is meant to be administrative, not punitive, but the new restrictions turn that claim on its head. Like asylum seekers and refugees banished to remote detention centres, people in MITA are being cut off from the human connections and solidarity that could undermine the government’s brutal policies. MITA is supposed to be a low security facility where visits of family and friends are regular and easy. These restrictive processes, and the inevitable decrease in visits, have increased anxiety and depression levels within MITA.
We have organised a ‘mass visit’ of regular visitors and refugee supporters to demand that these changes are scrapped.
For more info email refugeeactioncollective@gm