Your letters are very important to help achieve humane refugee policy reform. Not only do they provide a mandate for organizations and sympathetic politicians to take action, they also require all politicians to go on the record with their actions, or inactions.
Although the main responsibility for this issue lies with the Prime Minister, Immigration Minister and Attorney General, key policies are debated and decided in the party-room and cabinet. This is an often-wasted opportunity for all politicians to raise objections and possibly negotiate changes to bad policy. In order for new laws to come into effect each MP and Senator is required to vote on the issue in the House of Representatives or the Senate, meaning that all federal politicians are responsible for a law or regulation unless they actively oppose it.
Many of our federal politicians do not know the facts about Australia’s refugee policy, or have deliberately remained ignorant so they are not forced to confront the moral issues raised, particularly their own part in them as Australia’s lawmakers.
One way to ensure that they do confront the issues is to write to them, asking very simple, focused questions and then pressing for an answer. Pressing for a timely answer is crucial. They will not want to answer: rather, they will respond with bureaucratic fog in the hope that you will go away. However, it is important that you persist.