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The Forum > Article Comments > No slaying the immigration debate hydra > Comments

No slaying the immigration debate hydra : Comments

By Zareh Ghazarian, published 21/7/2010

There are many dimensions to the immigration debate.

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As demonstrated in a recent house of Lords paper, immigration is of no overall benefit to the UK. It has never been conclusively demonstrated that there is any overall benefit to Australia of allowing vasts numbers of iimigrants into Australia. Most of these people have simply failed to produce viable cohesive societies in their own countries and now wish to take advantage of what Australians have created. We now have increasing levels of violent crimes unheard of before. I firmly believe we don't need immigrants. They have an obligation to fix their own countries. The only people that harp on about how good immigration and multiculturalism is, are the actual immigrants themselves. Time for Australians to say we don;t need any more.
Posted by ozzie, Wednesday, 21 July 2010 9:30:17 AM
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<< Yet despite such a range of important and conflicting issues, the major parties seem to focus on dealing with the one component of the debate that can elicit electoral support in key seats. >>

Not so, Zareh.

Julia Gillard has had a fair bit to say about population policy and a sustainable Australia. At least she is approaching the population / immigration / asylum seeker subject on a broad frontÖ.much more so than Abbott it would appear, although the shadow minister for immigration, Scott Morrison, is also very vocal on broader population policy.

I donít see this enormous issue as being particularly complex. The way forward is very clear to me, and I think that my vision would resonate very well with voters.

That is:

Stop onshore asylum seeking, but not by way of just turning boats around. Do it with sensitivity to the claims of those seeking asylum while implementing a very strong deterrence factor to further arrivals. Offshore processing and temporary protection visas should be key planks in this policy.

Boost our input into refugee issues via our international aid efforts through the UN and increase our intake of the most needy of refugees. Why this is not part of either Gillardís or Abbottís policy, I donít understand. Iím sure it would sit very well with those who are so vocal about the perceived hard action against onshore asylum seekers, and it would not get on the goat of those who want to see our borders resecured.

Work towards a sustainable population that is not too much bigger than the current level.

Reduce immigration in line with that goal.

It is not complex. At last we are at a point in our countryís history where the right policies can be implemented, because the majority of the general public will support them. These are the policies of sustainability, better humanitarianism and good control over our borders and our destiny.

Gillard has shown a promising start. Given that she WILL be returned to power, I just hope to goodness that she develops her policies strongly in this direction.
Posted by Ludwig, Wednesday, 21 July 2010 9:32:49 AM
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The immigration debate is a highly vexed issue for Gillard but politically and electorally there are some short term solutions. One is to simply cut the numbers of immigrants by 20 percent. This will reduce Australia's net population but it won't stop it growing which is what the hard liners want - but it will find favour in the electorate.
Posted by Cheryl, Wednesday, 21 July 2010 9:35:08 AM
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I would disagree strongly with the first poster.. there is some evidence that immigration has helped Britain, and it is possible that immigration helps Australia. Studies in Britain have shown that the newcomers take jobs that native Britons simply will not do, such as cleaning or delivery or some forms of factory work, even when they are unemployed.. Immigration here is different because a much higher proportion of those immigrating are skilled (refugees make up a small proprotion of the total), but skilled in categories lacking in Aus. A major example is that of nursing. Whether those benefits are offset by supposed higher costs of infrastructure and housing is another question - wouldn't town planning regulations have a much great effect? But as the author notes a crucial point is that the electorate in marginal seats seems to think it does, or can identify it as a reason. No wonder the government has tightened up on boat people and never mind the logic.
Posted by Curmudgeon, Wednesday, 21 July 2010 11:49:12 AM
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Not so sure about that ozzie. I'm on the right of many of the posters here and I'd say Australia's immigration program has been an unmitigated success. The major projects we take for granted: Snowy, Hume Highway, Adelaide/Darwin highway and about 30 percent of the nations veg crops are produced by immigrants or from European/Asian immigrant stock, not to mention their drive to start small businesses. Many are small 'l' liberals which is fine by me. The ALP will almost certainly cut immigration and say TA-DA - we fixed the population 'problem to'.

Actually, there is no population problem just as there is no immigration problem. We have a capital city design and infrastructure problem but I'm not hearing much about that.

House of Lords? Neutered in 1913. Just as well.
Posted by Cheryl, Wednesday, 21 July 2010 12:02:29 PM
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Curmudgeon,
Giving individual examples of where you feel Immigration is of benefit to Australia does not disprove what I have suggested, that is that there is no OVERALL benefit. Its easy to give mulitple isolated examples of benefits, but the studies from some of the leading economists in the UK show there to be NO OVERALL benefit. The example you give of immigrants doing jobs that locals won't do I would in fact suggest is not a benefit at all. It is actually an example of how immigration hurts a country. The studies by Lord Richard Layard ( one of the most respected Economists in Britain) show that Immigration lowers the wages of the most vunerable and lowest skilled locals to a point where only immigrants are prepared to do those jobs. So in fact these locals are now far worse off, having to compete with immigrants for the jobs that are now paying much less. Remember these jobs were obviously done by locals prior to mass immigration, but for resonable wages. This kind of situation leads to an underclass developing, called the working poor, which is becoming evident now in Asutralia.

Cheryl,

Again quoting isolated examples of unproven potential benefits does not disprove the suggestion that there is no OVERALL benefit. Where does the stat 30% of Vegs produced by European/Asian immigrants come from? and what is the percentage make up of these people in our population? I would have thought that would pretty much just reflect there proportion of the population.
Do they really have a higher rate of starting businesses? is this proven? I heard a PhD student on the radio a few years ago suggesting that they did this to avoid tax. Many immigrants come from countries where authorities are not to be trusted and so many startbusinesses and deal mainly in cash. Having visited a local immigrant area, I know of 4 restaurants beside each other( I have not eaten there) who will only except cash.
Posted by ozzie, Wednesday, 21 July 2010 1:39:50 PM
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