We need to learn from Australia regarding immigration

In a profile of Peter Dutton, Australia’s immigration minister we find this interesting snippet:

Australia accepts close to 200,000 migrants a year, as well as about 15,000 refugees. We have just taken in an additional 12,000 people fleeing persecution in Syria and Iraq. Yet it strikes me that Dutton can sometimes sound like an anti-immigration minister. Australia “faces unprecedented security threats from terrorists, extremists and criminals who seek to exploit migration pathways to citizenship for their own ends”, he said recently, giving the impression he would prefer that we slammed shut the borders and threw away the key. He has suggested it was a mistake to let Lebanese Muslims into the country, saying in parliament that most of the Australians charged with terrorist-related offences were of Lebanese Muslim background. He has accused refugees of both languishing on welfare and taking Australian jobs.

Sounds like a good immigration minister, one who is intent on keeping Australians safe after decades of wanton and irresponsible immigration policies from all parties.

People keep telling me there is another side to Dutton, and on a bright autumn day in Wagga Wagga, I finally see it. The regional NSW city has recently become home to about 250 Yazidis – members of an Iraqi religious minority targeted by Islamic State (IS) jihadists. The United Nations reported in 2014 that more than 5000 Yazidis had been murdered by IS, and thousands more, mainly women, enslaved. The Yazidis of Wagga Wagga have invited Dutton to join them in a celebration to mark their new year, and here he is, mingling with dark-haired men, women and children in a school hall decorated with balloons and bunting.

Mazin Nawaf, a Yazidi community spokesman, makes a dignified speech in halting English. “We are proud to be the newest members of the Australian community,” he says. “On behalf of the Yazidi nation, we would like to deeply thank the Australian nation and government for their generosity.” When Dutton is handed the microphone, he invites all the children to join him on the stage. “I want to speak to you from the heart,” he begins, telling the Yazidis he is honoured to be with them on such an important day, and grateful to them for making new lives in this country. Afterwards, he bends down and talks quietly to the kids, asking their names and complimenting them on their costumes. I realise that it is the first time I have seen him smile, and also that I have tears in my eyes.

When we meet a few days later, Dutton is still enthusing about the Yazidis. “Beautiful people,” he says. I tell him that when the music started and everyone began to dance around the hall, I thought for a minute he might join in. “I don’t do dancing,” he says. “That is a definite vote loser.”

Australia is a lot further down the track of increasing Islamic violence. But they imported it themselves. Now they have to fight a rear guard action.

We are yet to encounter the sorts of problems that Australia has.

We should learn from their example, from the UK’s example and every other country that has allowed Islamic immigration in large numbers.

If only we had a political leader who would stand strong. Why haven’t we taken in any Yazidis? Why are all the refugees being foisted upon us Muslim? Why aren’t we being more discerning?



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