Prime Minister Turnbull has made some important changes to the rules for Australian citizenship. The changes may be motivated by a desire to protect himself from his predecessor, Tony Abbott, and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation who both are not afraid to name the camel in the corner.
It makes me think of Bill English’s recent weak as water changes to immigration which were no doubt fuelled by the knowledge that immigration is a hot topic this election year.
Would-be Australians will face tough new hurdles – including a new English language and “Australian values” test – and have to wait several more years before being eligible for citizenship, under a major shake-up of the migration program.
Migrants could be asked whether they support female genital mutilation and forced marriages, or whether it’s acceptable to strike a spouse at home, under proposed values-based citizenship test questions to be put to the public for feedback.
He appears to have stolen all his ideas from the One Nation playbook and Pauline Hanson thinks so too.
It looks like Malcolm Turnbull is finally acting on my suggestions to improve the citizenship test. I spoke with him about this just after I was elected so it seems I must have been convincing.
…The Government wants to make it tougher to become an Australian citizen but it has not gone far enough.
…I’d like to see a minimum of 7 years before anyone can apply for Citizenship to Australia and I’d also like to see newcomers hold dual citizenship for 10 years after obtaining their Australian Citizenship. This would mean if they commit an offence that carries a sentence of 12 months or more, they risk being deported.
-Pauline Hanson FB
Tough new citizenship hurdles introduced by the Turnbull government will test applicants language skills, analyse their criminal history and require four years of permanent residency.
Applicants will also have to demonstrate they have attempted to integrate into Australian society, providing evidence of a job, the enrolment of their children in school, and even membership of community organisations.
…The new measures are the second tranche of changes to Australia’s immigration system in less than a week. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton announced the 457 foreign worker visa program would be axed and replaced by an “Australians first” approach to skilled migration.
The two-step push underscores the Turnbull government’s shift to the right on immigration and border protection…
Mr Turnbull said the citizenship changes, to be announced on Thursday, would put “Australian values at the heart of citizenship processes and requirements”.
“Membership of the Australian family is a privilege and should be afforded to those who support our values, respect our laws and want to work hard by integrating and contributing to an even better Australia. We must ensure that our citizenship program is conducted in our national interest,” Mr Turnbull said.
Mr Dutton said Australians “shouldn’t be embarrassed to say we want great people to call Australia home”.
“We want people who abide by our laws and our values and we should expect nothing less,” he said.
A third tranche of changes is expected and could include the creation of a “provisional visa” class which would tighten access to social security payments
This third tranche could be arguably the most effective change as migrants who do not share Western values or respect Western laws are nevertheless very attracted to Western countries that provide them with generous Western welfare. If Turnbull cuts off the easy access to welfare it will reduce the number of migrants who come to bludge of Australia while undermining its laws and values as they do so.
At present, citizenship applicants sit a 20-question test and must correctly answer at least 75 per cent. The quiz asks factual multiple-choice questions about Anzac Day, Australia’s system of government and the colours of the Aboriginal flag.
The new quiz will not dump these questions, but “values-based” questions will be added to assess would-be citizens’ understanding of and commitment to “Australian values”.
If a person fails three times, they will have to wait two years before trying again.
A stand-alone English language test examining reading, writing and listening skills will also be introduced.
A permanent resident has most of the same rights as an Australian citizen, though they must have a valid visa with authority to travel if they wish to return to Australia. They also can’t vote in elections, unless they were enrolled to vote as a British subject before 1984.
In New Zealand, the party that pushes for tough Kiwi Values requirements for citizenship and entry to New Zealand that are backed up with deportation for those that fail to respect our values and laws will get my vote. We desperately need the National Party to pass some right-wing policies as they are so far to the left now that they are indistinguishable from the Labour party. Even Act with its conservative economic policies has lost its way somewhat and has liberal social policies. We need a party to drag National kicking and screaming back to the centre right. Who will be our Pauline Hanson? Anyone?
It is all a matter of priorities.
What do our political parties value more? Looking good or doing good?
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