RACS is the only specialist legal centre in NSW providing free legal assistance to people seeking asylum subject to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Fast Track process.
The Department of Immigration have changed their processes for the worse, and we need your urgent help to support our legal response.
We are asking you to step up now and provide us with financial support to fund two lawyers and cover interpreting costs to urgently help 1800 people seeking asylum.
Over the past year, RACS has been operating under an agreement with the Department of Immigration to provide people who are on our waiting list with an extension of time to lodge their protection visa applications.
Devastatingly, the Department of Immigration began sending out letters threatening to cancel our clients’ bridging visas, stop subsistence financial support and permanently deny them the right to claim asylum in Australia if they don’t lodge their applications for protection in as little as 14 days.
1800 people have been waiting for RACS’ help for up to a year. The wait is so exceptionally long because we are not funded, and are the only legal centre in NSW providing this assistance to people facing the fast track process.
These 1800 people were promised legal assistance, and have been waiting patiently, but now the clock is ticking.
The Department of Immigration’s new process means that these people could end up destitute and homeless if we do not act now.
Applying for protection is a complex and confusing process, and the application forms are only available in English. Without expert legal help and the assistance of an interpreter, the reality is that this process is impossible for our clients.
If the 1800 people we have promised to help don’t lodge their applications within the tight deadlines, the following will happen:
- Bridging Visas will be cancelled.
- Work Rights (the ability to earn an income) will be removed.
- Medicare Access will be cut.
The letters even threaten to permanently deny people the right to seek asylum in Australia, putting these people at risk of being sent back to the countries from which they fled.
We are grateful for our army of legal and interpreting volunteers, but we need experts to supervise them.
Urgent financial support is needed now. This is a critical time. RACS needs to immediately fund two expert refugee lawyers and cover the costs of interpreting for these 1800 vulnerable people.
$60 supports a person seeking asylum with an hour of legal assistance. Every dollar helps.
For people seeking asylum, RACS is the difference between staying and going.
Click on the button above to donate. Alternatively visit https://www.givenow.com.au/racsaustralia
FRIENDS of RACS
Regular donors gain membership to our Friends Of RACS circle of passionate supporters. As a Friend of RACS, you commit to contributing at least $10 each month and you will receive:
• our monthly email newsletter detailing the impact of RACS work and advocacy.
• invitations to special events, screenings and information sessions.
• the satisfaction of knowing you and others like you are playing a key role in improving access to justice for asylum seekers and building a good society.
Donations can be made via:
– the internet via GIVENOW (GiveNow is an initiative by Our Community and Westpac, facilitating donations for NFP’s with costs of less than 1%)
– cheque to “The Refugee Advice and Casework Service” mailed to: 1-3 Eurimbla Avenue, Randwick NSW 2031
– over the counter at our office: drop into our office at 1-3 Eurimbla Avenue, Randwick. We will process your donation by credit / debit card or cash donation and give you a receipt at the same time.
For other ways to help RACS click here.
RACS is a registered charity with gift deductible status