NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia, 2006/10/02 - Prime Minister John Howard is still bent on imposing the proposed new changes in immigration policies before election time, adding that the government had made citizenship "a little too easy" in the past.
This might sound a bit of a bad news for young people wishing to migrate to Australia. Prime Minister John Howard is still bent on imposing the proposed new changes in immigration policies before election time, adding that the government had made citizenship "a little too easy" in the past.
Under the revised immigration policies, the waiting period to become an eligible Australian citizen will be upped from two to four years. Immigrants would also have to demonstrate that they understand and can speak English at a minumum, as well as pledge their loyalty to Australian values, culture, democracy, and way of life.
The Prime Minister, however, notes that the new policies are not intended to discriminate against any specific migrating group. Rather, the new policies intend to ease immigrants into a more successful integration within the country. Earlier, some Muslims have opposed the new policies, arguing that these come in conflict with their beliefs. But the Prime Minister insists these have nothing to do with Muslims and their religion. Australia respects them and will continue to admit Muslim immigrants and let them practice their religion in the country. ll that Australia asks if for its immigrants to be committed to all that Australia stands for.
In a speech outside a Greek community in Canberra, the Prime Minister praised Greek immigrants for their successful integration into the country. “Your first loyalty is to Australia, but that doesn't mean you don't have a place in your heart for your home culture and that's how we want it,” he said.
Australia continues to welcome multicultural diversity and remains firm with its non-discriminatory immigration policies, the Prime Minister reassures everyone.
[Source: Phillip Coorey, Sydney Morning Herald]