New immigration rules in Australia—including the demand to speak English, prove a stable work background, and lowered welfare payouts—have succeeded in bringing immigration levels to well below the government’s set target, that country’s Senates Estimates hearing has been told.
According to an article in the Australian, a home affairs official told an Australian Senates Estimates hearing in Canberra that in the 2016–2017 year, exactly 183,608 people arrived in Australia, while in the 2017–2018, this figure dropped to 138,086.
It means that this financial year’s intake is set to fall about 20,000 short of the annual cap.
Of the 138,086 arrivals in 2017–2018, 91,302 had skills visas, 44,193 had family visas and 2,591 were children. This means immigration to Australia is at its lowest level for a decade, and adds further evidence—if any was needed—that common sense border policies work.
Last year Australia introduced a wide variety of measures to curb migration into the country by tightening its citizenship rules. The most prominent new measure puts a greater emphasis on English language skills, which has been very effective.
Another rule forces migrants to prove they have had long term, consistent employment in the country before they can apply for citizenship. Access to benefits for migrants has also been withheld for a longer period, which has helped to curb migration from south east Asian countries like Indonesia.
Another interesting tactic the Australian authorities are employing is the use of digital databases. In the past immigration databases, which identified people from high risk countries, were separate from Australia’s security and intelligence databases.
However, the Government is now merging these systems into one effective database, which allows for quicker identification of new arrivals, and streamlines the deportation process.
Department of Home Affairs head Michael Pezzullo said the numbers come as the government improved “checking mechanisms” for migrants by linking security databases.
“As we connect what were formerly standalone, isolated immigration integrity risk systems to intelligence databases … as you couple more databases onto your checking mechanism, you get more what are known as ‘hits’ in our trade. They have to be resolved.”