According to the National Assembly website of the Uniting Church in Australia, the UCA has today announced its strong support for the proposal that asylum seekers should be allowed to live within the community while their claims are processed.

UCA President Rev. Alistair Macrae is quoted as saying: “The evidence is clear that locking people in immigration detention damages them. It’s contrary to all decency to continue to lock up children and vulnerable families for months and even years.

Macrae expressed concerns about media reports that asylum seekers were receiving handouts at community expense.

“We are appalled by the stories in today’s Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun which give the mistaken impression that asylum seekers in community detention are living in luxury. Nothing could be further from the truth.", Mr Macrae said.

"Whatever their intention, these stories serve only to spread prejudice and misunderstanding."

Macrae added that Australia detention centres have been proven to damage people’s wellbeing.

“Community detention is the only humane option to ensure that these children and other vulnerable men and women are not further traumatised after seeking asylum here in Australia,” Mr Macrae said.

The UCA's full statement can be found here:
Uniting Church Statement

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