Category Archives: Immigration

ALLAN PATIENCE. How much lower are we going to go?

The current Australian values and new immigration visa debates, blusteringly initiated by Malcolm Turnbull and his would-be successor Peter Dutton, represent one of the lowest points in recent Australian political history. Are these panicking populists capable of dragging the country … Continue reading

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PETER HUGHES. Citizenship Test Mark II – How much juice can you squeeze out of an orange?

It seems that Coalition governments have developed a habit of squeezing the citizenship “orange” for political advantage when there are some community concerns about migrants. Last week’s announcement by the Turnbull Coalition government, at a time of poor government performance … Continue reading

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TIM COLEBATCH. Yes, there is such a thing as too much immigration

Adjusting the intake in response to shifts in employment makes long-term sense.   Between 2008 and 2016, in net terms, the Australian labour market expanded by 474,000 full-time jobs. But only 74,000 of them went to people born in Australia. That’s … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. 457 visas and our temporary residence system.

In light of government announcement on 457 visas, I have reposted below an article originally posted on 18 November 2016.  See also at end, a link to an article by Joanna Howe in The Canberra Times yesterday.  John Menadue. Oversight … Continue reading

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Building a regional refugee framework.

The Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration (ADFM) expanded its membership, deepened its policy contributions to the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (Bali Process) and developed its connection to the Association of Southeast Asian … Continue reading

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BOB BIRRELL and DAVID McCLOSKEY. Sydney and Melbourne’s housing affordability crisis: no end in sight.

Our projections show that, on these demographic assumptions, new migrants will add about 64 per cent to the need for extra dwellings in Sydney over the decade 2012 to 2022 and 54 per cent in Melbourne.  

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BOB BIRRELL and BOB KINNAIRD. Migration policy; All about numbers

The permanent skilled migration program should be cut by nearly half, from 128,000 (primary and secondary applicants) to around 70,000. This includes migrants granted visas under the points test and those sponsored by employers.  

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JOHN NIEUWENHUYSEN. Dark Days for Immigration Policy. Nation building or border protection.

The concept of Australia’s Immigration Department being a minor part of a version of the United States department of homeland security is a frightening one. What will have happened to the “Welcome to Australia” banners of years past?  

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PHIL ROBERTSON. A new wave of atrocities is being committed against Muslims in Burma’s Rakhine state

The burned-out mosques in Sittwe, the capital of the Rakhine state in western Burma, loom as silent reminders of an atrocity, hiding behind overgrown bushes and cement walls amid the daily port city bustle.  

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FRANK BRENNAN, TIM COSTELLO, ROBERT MANNE and JOHN MENADUE. We can stop the boats and also act decently, fairly and transparently

The only way forward in dealing with Manus Island and Nauru is for bipartisan commitment to keep the boats stopped while settling refugees in Australia.

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PETER HUGHES. Losing the plot on immigration policy

If governments choose to make immigration policy based on populism, expect an increase in human suffering……  

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STEVE GEORGAKIS. Gilchrist and Australia’s national sport, Cricket?

Until recently cricket is a sport that has rarely engaged other minority cultures, such as Indigenous Australians or newly arrived migrants. In fact, unlike other sports such as Australian Rules football, cricket has been resistant to broaden its base. … The … Continue reading

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DENNIS ALTMAN. Bringing Nauru and Manus refugees to Australia is a win-win win. If the PM is bold enough.

Ultimately this argument is about a small number of people who risked their lives in the belief that Australia would provide sanctuary and a better life. In admitting them, Australia could demonstrate basic humanity, close the camps and remove an … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Will Donald Trump’s persona destroy his administration?

Donald Trump swept through the primary and election campaigns like a disruptive force of nature to a victory that unsettled almost all conventional wisdom about modern American politics. A shocked Democratic Party and city-based cultural elites are still in denial … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. Trump and Turnbull.

The problem is not with America and Australia – it is with Trump and Turnbull, and more urgently with Turnbull. Sooner or later he will have to decide: does he continue as the next in line of Trump’s Aunt Sallies, … Continue reading

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MARK BEESON. Turnbull turns toady for Trump

Let’s hope it’s worth it. Malcolm Turnbull has sacrificed whatever remaining credibility he may still have had as a small ‘l’ liberal in a desperate effort to save his tawdry deal with the American government. What looked like a brilliant … Continue reading

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WALTER HAMILTON. Bad hombres.

Donald J. Trump likes to sound off about ‘bad hombres’ sneaking into the United States to spread terror and crime. Bad hombres come in many shapes and disguises, not only as bad people but also bad ideas.  

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Welcoming the Stranger

In solidarity with refugees, young Catholics joined in a Mass in Lafayette Square outside the White House. See link below to article in ‘America, The Jesuit Review’.  

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John Menadue. What does it mean to be an Australian? Are we still the land of the second chance?

The Macquarie legacy is still with us. It underpins our best instincts to give all residents in this country, whether Australian born, migrants or refugees an equal opportunity in life, a second chance. That ethos of redemption is a core part … Continue reading

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John Menadue. Should we re-think Australia Day?

The Australia of today is vastly different to the Australia of my childhood with its widespread racism and sectarianism. It was socially suffocating. For those changes I am very grateful. There is a lot that we can be proud of. … Continue reading

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AHMAD RIZKY M. UMAR. ASEAN countries should find a solution to end the persecution of Rohingya.

ASEAN’s non-intervention is aggravating the plight of ethnic Rohingya Muslims suffering widespread abuse by the Burmese military in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. The Rohingya are one of the world’s most persecuted ethnic minorities.  

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MICHAEL GARCIA BOCHENEK. EU cannot copy Australia’s offshore asylum model

Casting about for ways to manage refugee flows, some European policymakers speak of emulating Australia’s use of offshore processing centres. But Australia’s approach to asylum seekers is fiscally irresponsible, morally bankrupt, and increasingly unsustainable politically. It’s no model for Europe. … Continue reading

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BRUCE ARNOLD. The Hanson Card is unworkable rather than just very nasty

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has reportedly proposed that every Australian be required to carry a national identity card. The rationale? The card will supposedly significantly reduce fraud by non-citizens who are resident in Australia.  The proposal may be good … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. Australia’s gulag of shame

As someone born after World War II who grew up in India, I have always wondered how it was possible for a highly civilized society like Germany to have been complicit through silence in the horror of the Holocaust. It … Continue reading

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CHRIS SIDOTI. 30th Anniversary of the Australian Human Rights Commission. Part 2 of 2.

Human rights work has a cost, and we need to remember the cost and the toll that it takes on the people who are doing it. Those who are paying the price need the support of those who are not … Continue reading

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IAN McAULEY. Brexit, Trump and the Lucky Country 2 – The response of those left behind

It would be hasty to attribute the Brexit and Trump votes to a “swing to the right”, or to an ill-informed electorate. The most compelling explanations are in terms of protest votes. People’s anger of electorates has given an opening … Continue reading

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Chomsky interview on the ravages of neoliberalism.

In this interview, reported in The Wire on 31 January 2016, Noam Chomsky talks about the ravages of neoliberalism. this is a repost from 21 February 2016. 

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CHRISTINA HO. Hothoused and hyper-racialised ethnic imbalance in our selective schools.

This is a repost from November 3, 2016.  “Across Sydney students from a language background other than English (LBOTE) regularly make up 80% or 90% of enrolments in selective schools.” As families increasingly turn away from their local public schools, … Continue reading

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I am ashamed to be Australian.

I decided to become a photojournalist to help refugees tell their stories, and to show their plight.  I was stunned by the lack of compassion and the outright racism I saw in my countrymen.  I was angry as only a … Continue reading

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RAMESH THAKUR. AHRC President Gillian Triggs: a year of living dangerously. Part 2 of 3.

Asylum seekers and children in detention There are four separate issues that typically get lumped into one confusing debate: the policies on asylum seekers, boats turnback and offshore detention; and the treatment of detainees. 

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