Monthly Archives: September 2017

Senate inquiry makes four recommendations to citizenship changes

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A parliamentary Senate committee last week made four recommendations on the government’s planned citizenship changes. The report can be accessed here.

The four recommendations are:

  1. The senate committee recommended that English language requirements should not be so high.
  2. The committee also suggested that Australian permanent residents, who were granted visas before the April 20th, should be allowed to apply for citizenship under old rules
  3. It also called for the government to reconsider its plan to ban applications for two years if the applicant failed the citizenship test thrice.
  4. And finally, to pass the bill.

Greens calls on government to take in 20,000 Rohingya refugees

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As the situation for Rohingya Muslims worsens in Myanmar, Greens have called on the government to take in 20,000 refugees fleeing bloodshed.

The political party has suggested Australia organises an emergency intake similar to the Syria program launched two years ago.

According to United Nations, at least 300,000 people have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh in recent weeks.As the situation for Rohingya Muslims worsens in Myanmar, Greens have called on the government to take in 20,000 refugees fleeing bloodshed.

The political party has suggested Australia organises an emergency intake similar to the Syria program launched two years ago.

According to United Nations, at least 300,000 people have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh in recent weeks.

Some uniformity please!

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Immigration minister Peter Dutton prides himself on being tough when it comes to immigration laws and how he exercises his discretion in intervening in cases that are rejected by the DIBP. All this very much behoves a person holding the position of immigration minister in a country which attracts millions of visa applicants each year. But there’s something amiss which is also very important: Uniformity.

Last month, UK-born Kelly Webb was allowed to stay in the country despite having several domestic violence and violent crimes cases registered against her. She was being deported but has now been allowed to stay, and cannot apply for citizenship for next 3 years. A mild rap on the knuckles if you consider the case of a 92-year-old British war veteran who was asked to leave the country and harassed for weeks—with his Medicare card blocked—but was eventually allowed to stay. Bear in mind he had no criminal case against him. Or the case of a Brisbane grandmother who was deported after having spent 50 years in Australia.

Minister Dutton has repeatedly said that there would be zero tolerance against “foreigners” found violating the law. No sane person will argue against that. But why can’t there be a policy—approved by the judiciary, of course—for such cases so that it lays down the guiding principles once and for all?
I don’t think it is such a big ask. It will also help his own workload too, considering he will have a set template to follow.

India in the spotlight for March migration figures

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The latest migration figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that India was the biggest source of Australian migration in March, with a total of 2,250 new migrants arriving in the country.

China, with 1,720 migrants, was the second highest. Iraq, New Zealand and the Philippines rounded out the top 5, while United Kingdom, South Africa, Vietnam, Malaysia and Sri Lanka followed to complete the top 10 list.

11,590 people migrated to Australia in March. This is down slightly from February’s 11,830 but higher than January’s 9,610. The total migration for March 2016 was only slightly higher than this year, at 12,070.

The March statistics are the most recent release of figures since the government revealed major changes to the 457 work visa program on 18 April. Its replacement, the temporary skills shortage visa (TSS), will have two streams for short and medium-term employment and stricter eligibility requirements.

Read original report here and ABS report here.