These are the innocent faces of Australia’s strict offshore asylum seeker policy — who, after starting life with uncertain futures, now have a shot at a normal life in Australia.
The photos, revealed by Fairfax Media today, follow yesterday’s announcement that 31 babies born to asylum seeker parents will be allowed to remain on Australian soil, rather than being sent to Nauru.
The surprise announcement by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison is the result of a one-off, secret deal struck by crossbencher Ricky Muir, Fairfax reports.
Asylum seeker advocates have welcomed the move, which was announced yesterday afternoon just before a legal bid on behalf of 25 of the babies’ families failed in court — but they warn it’s not all good news.
The deal was made during negotiations about significant changes to asylum seeker law — which have raised concerns among advocates — including the reintroduction of temporary protection visas.
Mr Morrison yesterday emphasised that asylum seekers found to be refugees would still not be granted permanent protection visas, but would be granted temporary protection visas or safe haven enterprise visas.
Minister for Immigration Scott Morrison.
He also said pregnant asylum seekers who have not yet given birth will also be “returned to Nauru, with their babies, at an appropriate time.”