I've directly witnessed protests, riots and police brutality, but not in New York, Washington or Minneapolis.
Watching the news from the US, I remember trying to help people who were being denied basic human rights and were being pushed to their limits by a government focused solely on winning elections.
Unfortunately, that was our government, when I worked in offshore detention on Manus Island.
If you think these things don't happen here, you're wrong. They do happen here, but our government is careful to hide these events on small islands far from public view.
So when I see US President Donald Trump talking about "thugs" and "criminals" inciting violence, I recall our politicians spewing similar nonsense about asylum seekers and refugees.
Even now, our government continues to cause misery to these vulnerable people by limiting their access to the same services that are helping the rest of us survive COVID-19.
IN THE NEWS:
They're also continuing to lock up asylum seekers and refugees in ludicrously expensive detention centres.
All these people want is to have a normal life in relative safety, just like the rest of us.
Let's take advantage of the unique opportunity provided by COVID-19.
Our borders have been closed and immigration virtually stopped overnight, so when the borders re-open, let's drastically increase our intake of asylum seekers and refugees.
Let's replace a large portion of our previous immigration intake with other highly motivated and skilled people who desperately want to be part of our society.
This idea doesn't require an increase in overall migration, just a change to the intake profile.
After all, Refugee Week 2020 (June 14-20) is about celebrating the Year of Welcome, so let's welcome the kind of people we previously locked-up on Manus, Nauru and Christmas Island; the doctors, the architects, the teachers, the sportspeople, the nurses and the innocent children.
As we try to rebuild our damaged economy, let's take this incredible opportunity to boost our economy by bringing in young, motivated asylum seekers and refugees.
And, for the first time in 20 years, let's give them a fair go.
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