Australia: New Immigration Rules Slash Migrant Levels

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.”

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  1. The numbers quoted for immigration in 2017-18 seem modest compared to the 625,000 who arrived in the UK during the same period, but these figures are misleading because they do not include foreign students who numbered 310,845 in 2015-16 and temporary business visas which numbered 85,611. In the UK 2/3 of foreign students are issued with special visas on graduation that enable them to remain and gain citizenship. Therefore it is possible that foreign students contribute a bigger share of permanent immigration than all the other categories put together.
    While doing some research stimulated by this article I was struck by the level of healthy debate in Australia on the subject of immigration, including debate in parliament. Anyone interested in the subject should read the Wikipedia article on ‘Immigration to Australia’ to get an overview of the ideas about immigration put forward by Australian scholars. There is also an interesting article titled ‘”It will destroy Australia as we know it”: Dick Smith’s warning as population surges towards 25 million’ by Frank Chung. I am not permitted to provide a URL to article, so you will need to use Google to find it. In Britain Peter Hitchens is the lone voice in the wilderness opposing mass immigration while MPs and ministers refuse to discuss it. When officialdom does discuss the subject it is in support of the status quo as we saw with the latest report from the Migration Advisory Committee. Incredible as it may seem we even have politicians like Diane Abbot who want to increase immigration.

  2. Here I go again. having a cap on immigration sounds like a sensible idea and I am sure that most Australians approve of it. However, the cap is not intended to limit immigration because it has been set at such a level that it makes no difference to the numbers. If you consult a document titled ‘Migration to Australia: a quick guide to the statistics’ published online by the Parliament of Australia you will note that the numbers of immigrants excluding students, temporary business and asylum has never reached the cap of 190,000. What tends to happen when governments introduce stricter rules for immigration is that the numbers do drop for a while, but then climb back again and continue to rise beyond what they were before the rule changes. If the Australian government was really serious about cutting immigration they would take this opportunity to reduce the cap to something like 150,000, but this will never happen.
    We see similar trends in the UK where the Conservative government has introduced excellent measures to cut numbers since 2010 including the 2014 Immigration Act. This resulted in non EU immigration dipping from 322,000 in 2010 to 248,000 in 2013, but has since climbed back up to 326,000 in the year ending in June 2018. The only real solution is to progressively cap the numbers of student and intra company transfer visas, but this would cause uproar and would be bitterly opposed. It would be so resented by business that the Tories would cease to obtain donations from this source, so it will never happen.

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