I am not illegal.

I ask for your help, your protection.  I have suffered.

I arrived on a boat.  I paid a people smuggler.  I risked my life.  I am not illegal.

I have fled from war and persecution.  I have a well founded fear.  I am not illegal.

501063-christmas-island-boat-wreck

I am a father, a husband, a brother, a son, an uncle.  I am the 89%.

I am a mother, a wife, a sister, a daughter, an auntie.  I am the 89%.

I am a student, a fisherman, a doctor, a housewife, a policeman, a farmer, an engineer.

I am the 89%.

I am a Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, a Buddhist, an Atheist.  I am the 89%.

490748-210113-asylum-seeker

I want to contribute.  I am not allowed to work.  I am the 89%.

I want to learn.  I am not allowed to study.  I am the 89%.

I want to pay my way. I do not want to be a burden.  I am the 89%.

My children are not allowed money for their school books, uniforms, shoes or bags.  I am the 89%.

I rely on charity, welfare and good will.  I am the 89%.

Photo copyright of Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Melbourne
Photo copyright of Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Melbourne

I am on a bridging visa.  I must have ‘no advantage.’  I am the 89%.

How long will I wait?  I have uncertainty.  I am the 89%.

The expert panel: architects of 'No Advantage.'
The expert panel: architects of ‘No Advantage.’

I am one of the lucky ones, the 89%.

I am not on Nauru.  I was not living in a tent for 7 months.  I am not hidden.  I am not forgotten about.  I am not losing my mind there.

Inside the tents of Nauru.
Inside the tents of Nauru.

I am not on Manus Island.  I am not at risk of malaria.  I am not hidden.  I am not forgotten about.  I am not losing my mind there.

I am the 89%.

One more time, NOT illegal.
One more time, NOT illegal.

I am an asylum seeker.  I arrived on a boat.  I am not illegal.

I am the 89%.

I hope to be a refugee.

Who, ever, hopes to be a refugee?

Advertisements